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Construction of houses for Meeriyabedda victims commences

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Construction of 75 houses for landslide-affected families in Meeriyabedda has commenced, the Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development said. Speaking to The Nation, Secretary to the Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development, V. Sivagnanasothy said the Sri Lanka Army will be carrying out construction work on these houses, and that it has already put up its site office. Land clearance has been done and the foundation work for the housing program has already commenced. District Secretary, Badulla has procured materials and delivered to the site for the Sri Lankan Army to undertake construction work, he further noted.

The landslide on October 29, 2014 left 75 families at Meeriyabedda homeless. These families were temporarily housed at a premises   under Maskeliya Plantations PLC. According to the Ministry of Plantation Infrastructure Development, most of the victims are housed at the Mahakanda Factory.

Sivagnanasothy also refuted certain media reports which claimed that the affected families had to spend the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in the dark due to a power cut.

According to the officer of Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), on April 10, there had been a power cut due to heavy rainfall of 112 mm, and the power had been restored on the following day in the temporary accommodation, the ministry secretary said.

Under  the 100-day program, the Cabinet has granted approval to construct houses in a 550 square foot floor area, and provide a total of seven perches of land for the affected victims. The houses will be built at a site in Poonagala Estate of the Maskeliya Plantation. 

These individual houses will have two bedrooms, verandah, kitchen and toilets under a “village cluster model” with access road, water supply, health centers, community halls and childcare centers. The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) has confirmed the land is free from landslide-related disasters.

The unit cost per house is Rs.1.2 million, and the houses will be given to the Meeriyabedda landslide victims on a full grant basis, according to the ministry.

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