President Maithripla Sirisena yesterday appointed a team of Cabinet Ministers to each severely flood affected districts to monitor and organize rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes, Public Enterprise Development State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardana said.
Accordingly, Ministers Nimal Siripala De Silva, S.B.Dissanayaka, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Lakshman Kiriella, Sarath Amunugama, Rauff Hakeem and Arjuna Ranatunga will be in charge of the constituencies of Bulathsinghala, Agalawatta, Bandaragama, Mathugama, Horana and Kalutara respectively in the Kalutara District.
Ministers Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Akila Wiraj Kariyawasam, Ravi Karunanayaka, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Vijith Wijayamuni Soyza will monitor and organize the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Akuressa, Deniyaya, Matara, Weligama and Hakmana electorates in the Matara District respectively.
Hiniduma, Baddegama and Bentara – Elpitiya constituencies in the Galle District have been handed over to Minister Duminda Dissanayaka, P. Harrison and Wijedasa Rajapaksa for the same purpose while Minister Susil Premajayantha, Rishad Badiudeen, S.B.Nawinna, Gamini Jayawickrama Perere and Navin Dissanayaka have been entrusted to look after the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Kalawana, Ratnapura, Eheliyagoda, Palmadulla and Niwithigala in the Ratnapura district respectively.
Hambantota District will be under Minister Faizer Musthafha while Kegalle District under Minister Daya Gamage and Minister Field Marshall, Sarath Fonseka.
The objective of appointing cabinet Ministers in charge of monitoring the rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected districts displays the maximum interest and concern shown by President Sirisena and the government to restore and redevelop these affected districts.
“They will be in charge of reconstruction of damaged houses and state institutions, restoration of infrastructure, payment of compensation to next of kin of dead and missing persons and restoration of state services like health, education and public administration. The government will start assessing of the damage in each district from Monday,” Minister Abeywatrdana said.
Minister Abeywardana told the media that President Sirisena gave authority to District Secretaries to spend on flood relief programmes without adhering to circulars and FRs and ARs.
Traders and small enterprises that have been affected will be given soft loans from commercial banks to restart their businesses utilizing the Rs. 2 billion allocated by the Central Bank.
The purification of wells and other water resources and restoration of power in affected areas will be started from today, Minister Abeywardana added. (Sandun A Jayasekera)