14/02/2017 – Bogawanthalawa, Sri Lanka: The first phase of the Estate Housing Project that will see the construction of 1600 houses in the Bridwell Division of the Bogawana Estate began yesterday under the auspices of the Minister of National Co-existence, Dialogue and Official Languages Mano Ganeshan, Minister of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development P. Digambaram, State Minister of Education V. S. Radhakrishnan along with the Deputy High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Arindam Bagchi.
As part of the assistance from the Government of India to Sri Lanka, these houses will enrich and enhance the quality of life of the estate worker who currently live in line houses. They are just a block of houses where over 80 to 90 people cramped up in one single block. The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society with support from the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will be implementing this.
During the launch of the project Minister Mano Ganeshan emphasized on the crucial need for quality living for people in the estate sector. He said that the decision by the Government of India and the Red Cross was timely and was much needed for a longer period of time.
The project will last for 2 years. The modality of construction for these houses would be exactly as the much successful Post Conflict Recovery Programme of the Red Cross. It will be implemented as an owner driven project.
Once the beneficiary is selected the Red Cross provides technical support to help build their home. This happens in four stages where the complete grant of 950,000 rupees is given in four installments. The first stage is to lay the foundation, the next to construct walls, the third to complete the roof and the fourth to complete the house.
This project is implemented as a partnership between the Red Cross and the beneficiary. From the start, both parties are actively involved in the construction process, and the beneficiary has a key say in how his/her home will be built.
For the event Head of Country Office of IFRC Igor Dmitryuk, Programme Officer of the EHP project for SLRCS Nimal Silva, Assistant High Commission for India in Kandy Miss Radha Venkadaraman, Second Secretary of High Commission of India – Dr. Sivaguru M, Secretary for Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure & Community Development Mrs. N. Ranjini were present at the event.