Construction of 75 houses for landslide-affected families in Meeriyabadde has commenced with the initiative taken by the Plantation Infrastructure Development Ministry.
The Sri Lankan Army has already put up its site office and land clearance has been done and the foundation work for the housing programme has already commenced. Badulla District Secretary has procured materials and delivered to the site for the Sri Lankan Army to undertake construction work.
On October 29, 2014, the landslide left 75 families homeless. These affected families were temporarily housed in a premise under Maskeliya Plantation. Most of the victims are occupying in the Mahakanda factory, which includes worker as well as non-worker families. Dry rations are provided by the Badulla District Secretary.
Under the 100-day programme, the Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to construct houses in 550 square feet floor area and provide a total of seven-perch land for the affected victims, said Plantation Infrastructure Development Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy.
These individual houses will have two bedrooms, verandah, kitchen and toilets under a ‘village cluster model’ with access road, water supply, health centres, community halls and child care centres.
The National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) has confirmed the land is free from landslide-related disasters. The Urban Development Authority (UDA) has designed the plan.
Initially the land selected at the Malvin Division of the Ampitikanda estate was not acceptable to the beneficiaries due to schooling and accessibility. Therefore, the Plantation Infrastructure Development Ministry has discussed with the beneficiaries and selected the site at the Poonagala Division in the Poonagala Estate of Maskeliya Plantation in the Badulla District, said Sivagnanasothy.
The unit cost per house is Rs.1.2 million and the houses will be given to the Meeriyabadde landslide victims on a full grant basis.
Last week a progress review meeting was held under the chairmanship of Plantation Infrastructure Development Minister Palani Thigambaram with the participation of Badulla District Secretary, Sri Lankan Army, UDA officials and senior staff of the Plantation Human Development Trust to fast-track the construction of houses.
The Plantation Industries Ministry has taken a lead to provide freehold title deeds whereby husband and wife of the family will receive joint ownership of title deeds, which will also empower women in the plantation sector.