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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
(The writer is an environmental journalist who could be reached at