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India hands over cement bags to Sri Lanka

[Hindu, Thursday, 1 April 2010 08:07 No Comment]

Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha on Wednesday handed over to U.L.M. Haldeen, Secretary, Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, the first lot of 10,000 of the 400,000 cement bags being supplied by India.

The bags procured from Ultratech Cement Lanka Pvt. Ltd. will be supplied in lots of 10,000 cement bags each day for the next 40-45 days and will be distributed among the resettled population in the Northern Province.

The Indian mission here said each resettled family is expected to receive eight bags, which would be used for repair and renovation of their houses damaged during years of armed conflict.

These cement bags, along with an earlier supply of 530,000 metal roofing sheets, are meant to contribute to reconstruction of dwellings of the resettling IDPs in the new areas of their habitation.

The cost of the supplies of 400,000 cement bags is Sri Lankan Rs. 200 million ($1.75 million) and is financed out of the SLR 12.5 billion grant assistance announced by India for reconstruction activities in May 2009.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the formal handing over of the first consignment of bags, the High Commissioner expressed the hope that the supplies would help the resettle IDPs in rebuilding their lives.

He said Indian contribution was based on the priorities and requirements projected by the Sri Lankan side. He added that as reconstruction effort was moving to the next stage, New Delhi was actively working on rehabilitation assistance directed at restoring the social, cultural and economic infrastructure in the Northern Province.

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