De-mining completed in Vavuniya district
Demining has been completed in the Vavuniya district, all displaced
families from the district have been resettled in their original homes
and several major programs on an unprecedented level have been launched
to promote livelihood facilities of the people, Government Agent Ms.
P.S.M. Charles told the Sunday Observer.
After the elimination of terrorism, the district saw many
far-reaching programs for social and economic well-being of the people
and these programs have been implemented under the guidance of President
Mahinda Rajapaksa and under the direct supervision and funding by
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. Minister Rishad
Bathuideen and Provincial Governor Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri who are
co-chairs of the District Development Committee play a significant role
towards the implementation of these programs, the GA said.
Government Agent Ms.
P.S.M. Charles on an inspection tour
Under the Emergency Northern Recovery Project (ENRP), 67 minor tanks
have been renovated at an expenditure of Rs. 207.84 million, 42 public
buildings were renovated or repaired at an expenditure of Rs. 247.29
million, internal roads were rehabilitated at a cost of Rs. 109 million
and the water supply scheme at Nedunkerny was rehabilitated at a cost of
Rs. 175 million.
Waste water and Storm water drainage system in Vavuniya town was
constructed at an expenditure of Rs. 44 million and the Dry Zone Urban
Water Sanitation Project was completed at an expenditure of Rs. 3,080
million, the GA said.
Rehabilitation of roads, construction of rural training centres,
construction of People Shops, wells have been dug, rural water supply
and tube wells were some of the other projects that have been completed
under the targeted development activities. Funds were also disbursed
under Micro Financing and Capacity building projects, she said.
The other major projects in the pipeline are the establishment of a
dedicated economic centre at Omanthai, a commercial complex at Vavuniya
town, technical college and industrial estate at Omanthai (work has
already been started), a District Secretariat complex at Thandikulam, a
transport terminal point at Vavuniya town, developing Eco-Tourism in
identified locations, establishment of a garment factory at Pampaimadu
and Nelunkulam and alienation of lands for officers to construct houses
through the NHDA, the GA said.
The paddy yield in the Maha season this year had doubled compared to
the previous six consecutive Maha seasons mainly due to proper water
management and quality seed paddy that was supplied to farmers, enhanced
facilities extended, provision of fertiliser at subsidised prices and
the presence of displaced agricultural families in their own homes, the
Paddy cultivation was undertaken in over 50,000 acres of paddy land
in the last Maha season and the yield per acre was 120 bushels as
against 60 bushels in the previous seasons. Highland crops including
black gram and mustard seed that were cultivated in over 20,000 acres
also had good harvests.
All irrigation canals have been concreted now, unlike previously, to
make sure water is not wasted. Sixty four-wheel tractors and more than
200 two-wheel tractors were distributed among the farmers. Good quality
seed paddy and seed black grams, seeds of other highland crops and
vegetable seeds were also distributed to the farmers, the GA said. Bank
loans were given to 4,500 families.
Over 15,000 acres of jungle land was cleared in Vavuniya North
(Cheddikulam) by the Government and given to the farmers for the
cultivation of paddy and other highland crops, she said. Barbed wires to
poor farmer families were also distributed for them to have their paddy
crops protected from wild animals, she said.
Water pumps were distributed among a large number of farmers.
Four Rice Mills have been established in Vavuniya and one is equipped
with modern machinery. Each mill is capable of processing 20,000 kg of
rice per day, the GA said.
A poppadom factory has been started in Vavuniya under USAID
assistance and 20 persons are being employed in the factory, she said.
7,000 tonnes of paddy was purchased by the Multi-purpose Cooperative
Societies (MPCSs) at the guaranteed price and is stored in some of the
18 warehouses of the MPCSs, she said. 18,000 kg of black gram was also
purchased and is stored in the warehouses. While private traders
purchased the black gram at the price of Rs. 70 per kg the MPCS
purchased it for Rs. 140 per kg, the GA said.
A lorry has been provided to the Vavuniya North Agricultural Society
for the purpose of marketing the farmersí products in the neighbouring
districts in an effort to reduce on the the cost of transport.
Fishing nets, boats and bicycles have been distributed among fisher
families who are engaged in fresh water fishing in ponds and tanks in
the district, the GA said. Village level farmersí societies are now
being established and training in modern methods of agriculture is being
provided to the farmers.
With rains already experienced and the South West monsoonal rains
anticipated soon, farmers are getting ready for the Yala season
cultivation, she said.
Hybrid cows, goats and poultry have been distributed among most of
the resettled families for rearing so that their income will be
supplemented, the GA said.