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Diriya Piyasa providing lasting solution to shelter problem

The Government through the Samurdhi movement has taken immediate measures to provide a lasting solution to the shelter problem of low income families who live in urban, semi urban and rural areas who are without any form of shelter at present.

The Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority (SLSA) has implemented a special housing project named `Diriya Piyasa' to overcome the shelter problem of these poor families. Under the first stage of this housing project 5000 houses will be constructed for 5000 low income families selected at Divisional Secretariat Division level with a minimum of 15 families drawn from each Division, a Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Ministry spokesman told the Daily News.

The national ceremony for launching this Samurdhi Housing Project was held at Weerawila, Tissamaharama last week under the patronage of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse.

Under this housing project, the SLSA will reserve Rs.50,000 on behalf of each family selected under this programme. A large number of voluntary organisations and other well wishes have already extended their support to the SLSA to implement this housing project. Therefore each house constructed under this project will cost between Rs.150000 or Rs. 200000 in its end value, he said.

He said following a survey conducted, the SLSA has revealed that there are about 8000 families categorised as the poorest of the poor in the country who are sans any form of shelter. As a remedy, the Government through the Samurdhi movement has decided to implement a special housing project to provide a permanent solution to the shelter problem of this segment.

According to the SLSA survey, the key reason for these poor families not having any shelter is mainly due to the death or disablement of the bread winners. There are also certain occasions where the breadwinner has abandoned the family.

Hence housing project is mainly focused on providing houses to such poor families, he said. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Diriya Piyasa housing programme, Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said at present Samurdhi movement is attempting to channel the benefits of development to the village level giving priority to the village.

She said the Samurdhi movement is centred on a strong human resource base and all those who work within the movement are solely dedicated to achieve the main goal of eradicating poverty in the country.

Premier Rajapakse will definitely win the forthcoming Presidential Election and will bring forward the Samurdhi programme in a more productive manner to uplift the socio-economic conditions of country's poor, the Minister said.

The UNP which cannot tolerate the significant progress achieved by the Samurdhi movement is now making various threatening statements to Samurdhi Development Officers that Samurdhi officers will be skinned alive under a UNP Government. However there won't be any chance for the UNP to reintroduce its terror, she said.



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