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The resettlement of the families affected by the recent landslide in Meeriyabedde in Koslanda got off the ground today (18th December). Commencing the project Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa laid the foundation stone for the new housing scheme during a ceremony held there this morning.

Under a Presidential directive and the supervision of Secretary Defence, the Urban Development Authority is to build 75 houses for the affected families. The project will be carried out with the collaboration of the Sri Lanka Army. Each house will consist of a floor area of 526 sq ft with a living area, two bedrooms, kitchen and sanitary facilities and cost approximately Rs. 1.2 million. The total project will cost Rs. 130 million. The project will include basic infrastructure facilities and other conveniences.

A massive landslide swept away a part of a tea estate in Meeriyabedde watte in the Haldummulla Divisional Secretary Division in the Badulla District burying many lives and more than70 line houses on a fateful morning (29th) in October. Responding to the emergency situation security forces teams were rushed to the site for rescue operations. More than 500 soldiers braved through the heavy rainy weather and rough terrain to rescue those affected and provide relief to them.

The affected families which were left homeless were promised alternative solutions and upon finding a suitable location, plans were drawn to construct houses to resettle them there.

Speaking at the occasion Mr. Rajapaksa expressed his sorrow on the loss of lives and said that the President upon getting aware of the incident immediately directed the security forces to render assistance to the victims. He also visited the site to see for himself the tragedy that had befallen on them.

Further speaking he said that the houses will be constructed without delay and once it is over it will usher in much development to the area. He promised that his assistance will be always forthcoming to complete the project and bring relief to the people.

Hon. Minister Arumugam Thondaman, parliamentarians, provincial councilors, state officials and a large number of people were present at the occasion.