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News  


 

Basil to personally survey flood recovery in Batticaloa

By Wilson Gnanadass
Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa is scheduled to undertake a tour of the east today to ascertain for himself the progress made with regard to the flood recovery programme, launched by his ministry immediately after the floods.
The economic development ministry, on the directives of Minister Rajapaksa initiated the recovery programme soon after the floods hit the east last month.
Basil is expected to address all the heads of department and local politicians in Batticaloa to review the flood recovery programme, today.
The top level meeting, considered to be a crucial one, is to take place in Batticaloa Kachcheri today, according to highly placed sources from the Batticaloa Kachcheri.
The minister will launch the 2000 Minor Tanks Development programme in the flood affected areas in the east today. The launch of this massive development programme will kick off at Vellaveli in the Batticaloa district.
The minister is also expected to study the overall assessment done in the aftermath of the floods in the east in general and in particular Batticaloa district which was the worst hit in the recent floods that rendered nearly a million people homeless in the East.
As the unprecedented natural disaster has devastated the east, the minister is expected to discuss with local level developers, politicians, agriculturists and other relevant officials to find ways and means of overcoming this huge economic setback, sources said.
Locally based scientists who have been responsible for carrying out an assessment of the eastern disaster, especially in Batticaloa district on the directive of minister Rajapaksa himself, have identified the unprecedented rainfall Batticaloa has received during just two months for the unusual floods.
According to their findings, Batticaloa that receives 1,600 mm of rain every year has received an unprecedented 1,400 mm of rain in December 2010 and from January to February (3rd) 2011 another 1,600 mm of rainfall.
According to them, more than 40,000 cattle have died due the unusual floods and they warned that the dairy industry in the east would severely be affected due to this.
They also said 97 percent of the food production is destroyed while also causing a huge damage to the infrastructure in the east.
“So it is a huge economic destruction. And this is why the minister himself is here today,” they added.