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Deyata Kirula awakens Raja Rata

Marking the 64th anniversary of Independence:


The Deyata Kirula 2012 exhibition at Oyamaduwa, opened by the President on February 4, will continue till February 10. A special feature on this occasion is a special programme (parallel to the exhibition) on developing the infrastructure facilities in the Anuradhapura District at a cost of Rs. 21,742 million


Oyamaduwa is in Anuradhpaura West, close to boundary of the Wilpattu National Park. The main livelihood of Oyamaduwa villagers is farming. Thirty years ago this area was under the threat of LTTE terrorism. Today it is the venue of the National Development exhibition - Deyata Kirula 2012. The exhibition is held on a 2,500 acre-land belonging to the Live Stock Products and Health Department. Five hundred acres have been allocated for the exhibition.


Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa inspecting plant nurseries protected by nets in home gardens

Until recently Oyamaduwa was known as a security check point at which Anuradhapura-bound vehicles and passengers from Vilachchiya and Tanthirimalaya were checked. It was first manned by the army and thereafter by police and civil defence personnel. Today this area, which was once a grass land meant for feeding cattle, has permanent buildings, highways, communication facilities, water and power supply projects, vegetable and fruit cultivations, small tanks and ponds.

Exhibition grounds

The Presidential Secretariat on the exhibition grounds covers a 6,100 square feet area and includes stalls representing 11 institutions. After the exhibition the Presidential Secretariat will become the Mahawilachchiya Divisional Secretariat. The three massive buildings on the exhibition grounds will be used for storing paddy and other grain. During the period of the exhibition the stalls of the Finance Ministry and Economic Development Ministry will be among those that will attract greater attention of the public. All these have been constructed at a minimum cost.

A number of programmes at a cost of Rs. 21,742 million to develop infrastructure facilities in the Anuradhapura District have been launched in connection with the opening of the Deyata Kirula exhibition. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa is implementing many of these projects under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Deyata Kirula Committee chairman is Minister Ranjit Siyambalapitiya. The main objective of this programme is to identify and combine all development work within the selected district and also educate the public on development activities throughout the country. The exhibition is expected to draw over two million people.

Increasing gross domestic products and per capita income, reduction of poverty, improving education and health and other indicators of social progress are the targets of Deyata Kirula. The number of low-income household units in the Anuradhapura District requiring improvement under the Samurdhi and Divi Neguma programmes is 31,931.

Natural resources

All projects have been planned in a way for the people of the area to obtain the full benefits of sources of income, job opportunities and other means of livelihood provided under the Anuradhapura District Development projects. The districtís human resources and natural resources will be utilized to the maximum to achieve lasting and stable development. These include improving livestock, inland fisheries, paddy cultivation for export, providing knowledge on new technology for agricultural development and improving agro-infrastructure for the purpose. Parallel to these will be the Divi Neguma and Maga Neguma programmes. Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa will direct to raise the quality of peopleís lives.

The most important of these will be to help people who have no proper roofs over their houses - a total of 50,000. In this connection 1,000 tiles will be given for each such houses in the district. Already 30,630 households in 23 Divisional Secretariats of the district have benefited from this programme. The total number of tiles provided will be 27.9 million at a cost of Rs. 800 million at Rs. 30 per tile. Tile manufacturers islandwide have been given the opportunity of supplying the material thus giving a major boost to the industry which has been on the verge of total collapse. A number of organizations including the Ceylon Ceramics Corporation and all Ceylon Clay Tile Manufacturersí Association have contributed to this task. As a result thatched houses and houses with roofs of corrugated metal sheets will no longer be seen in the Anuradhapura District thus improving the environmental health of Raja Rata residents.

Infrastructure development

The total cost of infrastructure development in Anuradhapura is Rs.10,979 million. It is the districtís project which has received top priority in the 2011-2012 budget frame work. Accordingly the expenditure for highway development across the district will be Rs.4,500 million and for main roads within the area is Rs. 2,700 million.

The cost of expanding the power supply network for making electricity available to all residents is Rs. 1,500 million and of building the road network connecting villages Rs. 914 million. The cost of repairing minor irrigation channels is Rs. 615 million; of repairing national irrigation channels and tanks is Rs. 550 million and of developing bunds and canals is Rs. 200 million. Almost the entire road network has been modernized. The work on the Colombo-Anuradhapura road is already a completed on a very high standard. So is Batticaloa-Polonnaruwa-Maradankadawala road. The Anuradhapura-Kurunegala-Paadeniya road is nearing completion. The carpeting of the Anuradhapura-Trincomalee road via Horawapathana has begun parallel to the opening of the Deyata-Kirula exhibition. All the approach roads to Anuradhapura including the Anuradhapura-Padaviya road and the Dambulla road are all being developed fast. Since no economic progress is possible without a proper road network, the matter has received top priority in the context of developing Anuradhapura.

Development programmes

The districtís total number of Divisional Secretariats is 23 comprising 702 villages. Each Grama Niladhari division is given Rs. 2 million for expanding the Gama Neguma programme. Hundred and seventy three maternal clinics have been selected for repairing and work on 150 of them is already completed. The number of developed pre-schools is 191.

Many projects have been launched under the Divi Neguma programme of the Economic Development Ministry. Packets of seeds have been distributed among 168,745 people. The number of plant varieties distributed is 261,320.

Among them are 137,693 coconut plants. There are already 83 plant nurseries. The number of fisheries projects launched is 20,874. Bee keepers have been provided with 4,440 boxes for the purpose. It is expected to distribute 64,460 Chicks among 4,646 families.

Anuradhapura District has moved 20 years forward thanks to the development programmes launched under Deyata Kirula which is a matter of pride for the people of Anuradhapura. It has made a major contribution towards eliminating poverty in the district. Deyatata Kirula has given immense strength and courage to the residents in building up their self-confidence.

(The writer is an environmental journalist who could be reached at ejournalists@gmail.com)

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