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Sunday, 22 April 2012

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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 GA said.

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.

 

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