UNP can develop country despite challenges - Prime Minister | Daily News


UNP can develop country despite challenges - Prime Minister

Tata Housing completes first phase of One Colombo Project :
Around 740 families benefit from Rs. 7000 million investment :
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe handing over the key to one of the beneficiaries of the housing scheme. Minister Champika Ranawaka and India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu look on. Pictures by Hirantha Gunathilake.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe handing over the key to one of the beneficiaries of the housing scheme. Minister Champika Ranawaka and India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu look on. Pictures by Hirantha Gunathilake.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said that only the UNP can develop the country and mould the future in spite of the many challenges and problems.

"We have proven that the UNP can develop the country despite many challenges,” he added.

The Prime Minister was addressing the gathering at the ceremony to commission 626 new modern houses and 120 fully developed shops including pre-school, gymnasium and community center to the poeple under the first stage of the Metro Housing Project in Slave Island.

Under the first stage, construction work has been undertaken by India’s Tata Housing under the supervision of the Urban Development Authority at a cost of Rs.7000 million.

"The country's economy faced a huge setback with the Easter Sunday attack. When we took over the country, it was in a huge debt trap. But, today, our economy is marching forward overcoming all problems. Other countries have felt the confidence of our country and tourist arrivals are also increasing. Now we have to increase local productivity as well as export earnings to accelerate the repayment of loans to achieve the fast development. If we continue to do so for another five years, we will be able to get out of the debt trap,” the PM added.

This will be the first step taken in Colombo becoming a megapolis and also megacity in the Indian Ocean. We have made a revolutionary development in the Colombo city and it is visible today .The entire amount of funds spent by the UDA from 2010 to 2014 have been spent by our government in just one year on developing the country.

When the Easter Sunday attack was took place, many people thought that the country would collapse. But, we have forged ahead despite many setbacks.When we took over the government, many countries were reluctant to give us aids or loans.We were facing real difficulties due to this reason. However, we have been able to create confidence among the other countries about our real efforts to develop the country and then they were willing to give us loans.That is why we have been able to complete a number of development projects.

Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said the government has created a real transformation by building houses for the public. None of the projects implemented by this government has been indebted the country. All governments which were in power from 1958 to 2014 were able to provided only 9,000 houses for the people in Colombo. But, we have already given 15,000 houses while another 5,000 new houses will be given in the coming months. Foundation stones were laid for construction of another 6,000 houses too. We will remove sludge from the Beira lake and turn the area into a commercial hub. We have evidence of many corruptions taken place on land deals including the transaction on this land made by the previous government and we will reveal them to the people in due course, he said.

Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that many of those who feared that they would lose houses are now happy having received new houses today. When apartments of this nature are constructed for the people, government lands can be utilized for the other development activities. Well-built houses with all modern amenities were handed over to around 626 families and fully developed commercial spaces to around 114 shop owners. The investment made is around Rs.7000 million. It is a unique project completed by Tata Housing which has ensured re-housing of the existing community in a residential complex with improved infrastructure.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe thanked the Indian Government for the development partnership assistance over the years. He specially mentioned the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka after the Easter attacks, which provided a big boost to the confidence in Sri Lanka. He looked forward to further strengthening the connectivity and people-to-people ties between both the countries.

The High Commissioner thanked the Sri Lankan Government for giving the status of Strategic Development Project to this project and said this was another manifestation of the confidence that Indian firms have in the Sri Lankan economy. He stressed that India and Sri Lanka are going through a phase of rapid urbanisation and there was a need to ensure smart development of our cities with due emphasis on ‘inclusivity’ and ‘sustainability’.

Megapolis and Western Development Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Power, Energy and Business Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake, India's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, MP Mujibur Rahuman, Tata Housing MD and CEO Sanjay Dutt and other dignitaries were also present.

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