Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced the construction of 10,000 more houses under the Indian Housing Project in Sri Lanka. The beneficiaries of the project would also get ownership of the houses. While addressing a gathering of around 30,000 Indian Origin Tamils in Norwood, Central Sri Lanka, PM Modi said: “As part of the innovative Indian Housing Project in Sri Lanka, 4000 houses are being constructed in upcountry areas.”
“I am happy that for the first time, beneficiaries are also being given ownership of the land on which the houses are being built,” PM Modi further said, adding, “To continue our commitment in this area, I am delighted to announce the construction of an additional ten thousand houses in upcountry areas under this project.”
Here we take a look at what the Indian Housing Project is all about:
- According to the UN Habitat, The Indian Housing Project is a housing reconstruction project funded by India and implemented through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Sri Lanka.
- The project was first announced in June 2010 when India decided to fund the construction of 50,000 houses as part of its post-conflict rehabilitation support to Sri Lanka.
- Announced with a grant of $250 million, this was one of the largest international grant assistance projects undertaken by India in Sri Lanka.
- According to MHDA, the targetted group of the project are Resettled Homeless Families.
- As many as four Implementing Agencies (IAs) are responsible for the project being executed in Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. The region was affected LTTE operation.
- UN-Habitat is also one of the four IAs. Others are International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in partnership with Sri Lanka Red Cross, National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) of the Government of Sri Lanka and Habitat for Humanity.
- Launched in mid-2012, the 36-month project was to be implemented until mid-2015.
- Initially, the project included the repair of around 43,000 houses in the region.
- The project was implemented through home owner-driven methodology and the beneficiaries were to be selected through a transparent process.
- Funds for the project are released directly by High Commission of India into the bank accounts of beneficiaries. The project provides Rs 555,000 for the construction of a house and Rs 250,000 for repair. According to NHDA, the number of new houses built under the scheme initially was 5000, while 50 were repaired.
(With inputs from unhabitat.org and NHDA)