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Government of India-Funded Housing Project Inaugurated at Presidential Secretariat

A ceremonial event took place at the Presidential Secretariat on Monday, February 19th, to mark the inauguration of a housing project financed by the Government of India, aimed at constructing 10,000 houses for plantation sector workers.

The initiative, known as the ‘Bharat-Lanka’ project, represents the fourth phase of India’s housing endeavor in Sri Lanka’s plantation sector. It involves the construction of 1,300 houses across 45 estates in ten districts.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe, virtually participating in the event, was accompanied by Indian High Commissioner Santosh Jha and Minister of Water Supply and Estate Infrastructure Development Jeevan Thondaman, as reported by the President’s Media Division (PMD).

During the virtual gathering, the President underscored the government’s commitment to safeguarding the economic and social rights of the upcountry Tamil community. Acknowledging their significant contribution to the nation’s economy, President Wickremesinghe expressed intentions to foster collaboration among political representatives from the upcountry, transcending party lines, to formulate joint proposals in the upcoming month.

Expressing gratitude to the Government of India for their support, particularly on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the upcountry Tamil community’s arrival in Sri Lanka, President Wickremesinghe highlighted ongoing efforts to negotiate land acquisition from estate companies for housing construction. He also emphasized the government’s dedication to advancing education standards within the upcountry.

The event drew the participation of various dignitaries, including State Minister of Irrigation and Water Supply Shasheendra Rajapaksa and Governor of Central Province Lalith U Gamage, underscoring the significance of the housing project and the strong bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka.

Notably, on November 28, 2023, the High Commission of India signed two significant agreements for the construction of 10,000 houses in the plantation areas of Sri Lanka under the fourth phase of the Indian Housing Project.

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