A Project Steering Committee [PSC] meeting, co-chaired by Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob and Keerthi Ranjith Abeysiriwardana, Secretary, State Ministry of Rural Housing and Construction and Building Materials Industries Promotion, on the Grama Shakti Housing Projects in Northern and Southern Provinces and Model Village Housing scheme spread across the 25 districts of Sri Lanka was held in Colombo on 1st February 2021, a statement from the High Commission said.
The statement said under these schemes, the Indian government and Sri Lanka are constructing 2400 houses all across the island.
1.The project implementing partner for these schemes is the National Housing Development Authority of Sri Lanka. The relevant ministries/departments from the Government of Sri Lanka are the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing and Development, State Ministry of Rural Housing and Construction and Building Materials Industries Promotion, Ministry of Finance and Department of Project Management & Monitoring.
2. It may be recalled that in order to address some of the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the original MoU governing the four schemes was amended in December 2020. During the PSC meeting, the impact of restrictions placed by the Covid 19 pandemic was discussed and a series of decisions taken to address the same. While the completion of the project and handing over of the houses in four districts have been accomplished, the handing over of additional slots of housing in Badulla, Matale and Vavuniya in the next phase is envisaged.
3. Deputy High Commissioner, while inaugurating the meeting recalled the commitment of the Government of India to development cooperation with Sri Lanka. In November 2020, both Governments renewed the MoU for High Impact Community Development Projects for the period 2020 to 2025.
4. This was the first PSC meeting on development cooperation held after the arrival of the “COVISHIELD” vaccine from India on Duruthu Poya Day on 28 January 2021. The meeting noted with satisfaction the close cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine supplies as well as the successful progress in the vaccination program in Sri Lanka. Deputy High Commissioner recalled that such cooperation was in line with the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of sharing vaccines with the whole of humanity, while giving priority to the neighbourhood. He also took the opportunity to extend advance wishes to the people and Government of Sri Lanka on the occasion of their Independence Day on 04th February 2021.
- This was the first PSC meeting on development cooperation held after the arrival of the “COVISHIELD” vaccine from India on Duruthu Poya Day on 28th January 2021