Water for Vavuniya at a cost of Rs. 60 bn | Daily News
First ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme in the North

Water for Vavuniya at a cost of Rs. 60 bn

The first ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme in the Northern Province was held at the Bogaswewa Maha Vidyalaya premises in the Vedivaithyakallu Grama Niladhari Division of the Vavuniya North Divisional Secretariat Division in the Vavuniya District under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last Saturday (3).

Listening to the grievances expressed by the people with regard to the shortage of water in the area, the President instructed officials to take steps to resolve the issue which has been inconveniencing the people for decades in the Vavuniya District, within a year.

Ninety-two percent of the population in the district suffers from the shortage of clean drinking water. The water project will be implemented as an accelerated project at a cost of Rs. 60 billion. It was decided to restore all tube wells in the area and to implement a number of community water projects as immediate solutions.

The people pointed out that the shortage of teachers, buildings and desks in the schools in the district was a major problem that needed to be resolved soon. The President instructed the Education Ministry to acquire information and statistics in this regard and allocate funds as required.

Monks who have to take care of their parents are faced with the difficulty to observe their duties to the Sasana. Therefore, the President says that he has decided to provide employment opportunities to the families who have offered their children to the Sasana under the 100,000 job scheme.

The ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme commenced on September 25, 2020, from the Badulla District. Thereafter programmes were organized covering the Matale, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Kalutara, Moneragala, Kegalle, Kandy, Puttalam, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Galle Nuwara Eliya and Matara districts.

The idea behind this programme is for the President to talk to the rural communities living in remote and difficult areas, without intermediaries, about their long-standing unresolved problems and to present them directly to the officials in order to find solutions. Problems that can be solved on the spot are instantly addressed. The rest which take time to deal with are noted down to find solutions later. The objective of the programme is to reach out to the people of the village, understand their problems and find solutions giving considerations to their own suggestions.

Vedivaithyakallu Grama Niladhari Division is located about 38 km East and South of Vavuniya town bordering Padaviya and Kebithigollewa Divisional Secretariats and Nandimithra village in the west of the Anuradhapura district. Bogaswewa 1, Bogaswewa 2, Kambiliwewa, Wediwaithyakallu, Kovilpuliyankulama and Veheratenna villages belong to this Grama Niladhari Division. The village has a population of 1,520 comprising 478 families. Paddy and Chena farming are the main livelihood of the people.

President Rajapaksa arrived at Bogaswewa and from there he travelled to Bogaswewa Maha Vidyalaya to attend the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme. President Rajapaksa conversed with the people gathered on both sides of the road and inquired into the problems that ail them.

The President presented the two laptops donated by SLT Mobitel to Bogaswewa Maha Vidyalaya and Nedunkerni Maha Vidyalaya and the TV and the connection donated by Dialog Axiata to the principals.

Another objective of President Rajapaksa is to develop school library facilities in all areas where the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme is held. The President presented sets of books to schools under the programme ‘A generation empowered with knowledge’. Each school receives 500 books covering a number of subjects to assist students in their further education.

A programme to grant title deeds to the families who had been in possession of government lands without clear ownership was started recently. President Rajapaksa symbolically presented title deeds to five families in the Vavuniya North Divisional Secretariat Division during the discussion.

In addition, the President awarded three scholarships for courses conducted by the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka as well.

The Road Development Authority has been entrusted with the development of 37 km of by-roads in Bogaswewa and surrounding villages and two main bridges in the area.

The President advised to renovate 16 tanks in Bogaswewa village and 17 tanks including the Kivul Oya project.

The President said that temples in the area should be renovated preserving the archaeological heritage for future generations.

It was decided to build electric fences to protect the villages that are threatened by wild elephant intrusions.

The need to develop the Bogaswewa Primary Health Centre for inpatient treatment was emphasized.

President Rajapaksa directed the officials to address the shortage of doctors, nurses and other staff members in the hospitals in the area and to meet the infrastructure and other requirements as well.

The resolution of long-standing land ownership disputes and facilitating villagers to engage in agriculture was discussed at length.

Northern Province Governor P.S.M. Charles, Vavuniya District Parliamentarians Cader Mastan and Kulasingham Thileepan, People’s Representatives of the district, Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretaries to Ministries, Heads of Government Institutions and the Security Forces participated in the ‘Discussion with the Village’ programme at the Bogaswewa Maha Vidyala premises.

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