India hands over two new school building in Jaffna

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 29, 2019 20:02 hrs

Two new school buildings constructed with Indian assistance in Sri Lanka were handed over to the people at Navatkuli and Chavakachcheri in Jaffna district.

The school buildings, in Navatkuli Mahavidyalam and Drieberg College were jointly inaugurated by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner Dr. Shilpak Ambule and Governor of the Northern Province Dr. Suren Raghavan.

The buildings are part of new class room buildings being currently constructed in 27 schools in the Northern Province at a cost of 250 million Sri Lankan Rupees. 10 school buildings have been completed and inaugurated, including the two buildings handed over on Monday. The remaining school buildings are expected to be handed over in the coming days, Colombo Page reported.

In his remarks on the occasions, the Indian Deputy High Commissioner urged the youth to seize the opportunities available and translate them into achievements. He also highlighted the people-oriented development cooperation projects undertaken by the Government of India in the region.

Besides, various projects undertaken for rehabilitation and resettlement, the Government of India has constructed a total of 46,000 houses in the region. 1,990 Emergency Ambulance Services are operational in a total of eight provinces including the Northern Province.

The ongoing development cooperation projects in the Northern Province under the Indian government's grant assistance include, construction of a Cultural Centre in Jaffna, construction of 3,000 Rain Water Harvesting units, construction of 25 model villages consisting of 600 houses and establishing a Business/ICT Incubator Center in Jaffna among others.

The Jaffna Cultural Centre, being constructed at a cost of around USD 12 million, is expected to be completed by mid-2019 and it will be an iconic symbol of local culture and tradition.

On Sunday, the Uttara Devi, an Intercity Express train that runs between Colombo and Jaffna Kankasanthurai in the North, embarked on its maiden journey from Colombo Fort with a new power set provided by India under its Line of Credit.

Sri Lanka's President of Maithripala Sirisena flagged off the new train on Sunday. Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation of Sri Lanka Arjuna Ranatunga and High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu were also present.

The President and High Commissioner travelled on board the train for some time. The maiden journey of the train was from Fort Station in Colombo to Kankasanthurai Station in Jaffna.

The train (self-propelled Diesel Multiple Unit-DMU) was procured under Indian concessional financing by Sri Lanka Railways.

The DMU manufactured by M/s RITES Ltd. is a 13-coach train set. The train set has best-in-class passenger amenities with fully rotating seats in the Air-Conditioned Chair Cars, on-board Infotainment system, GPS-based passenger information system and modular interiors. It can travel at a maximum speed of 120 kmph. It will offer both comfort and speed to passengers, as a next level of the travel experience.

The contract agreement for supply of 6 DMUs and 10 locomotives to the Sri Lanka Railways was signed in March 2017. The total contract is worth around US$ 100 million and is financed under Indian concessional financing. The first set of DMU arrived in Sri Lanka in December 2018 ahead of schedule and is now being commissioned into Sri Lanka Railways after completion of trial runs. The supply of rest of DMUs and locomotives will be complete during the course of this year.

In addition, 50 wagons are also being supplied to Sri Lanka railways under Indian concessional financing which will also be delivered this year. 500 buses will also be supplied to Sri Lanka under Indian concessional financing.

In June 2017, India signed a fresh Line of Credit Agreement for US $ 318 million for the development of railway sector in Sri Lanka. Under this Line of Credit, various projects are underway including procurement of 160 passenger coaches; upgradation of railway track from Maho-Omanthai; upgradation of signal & telecommunication system from Maho to Anuradhapura; and setting up of a Railway Workshop in Ratmalana etc.

India has so far committed Lines of Credit worth around US$ 1.3 billion for development of railway sector in Sri Lanka. (ANI)