Major development projects launched in the Mullaitivu District include irrigation-related projects such as tank renovations, improvement of channel systems, construction of bridges and causeways, establishment of dairy villages, dairy farms and animal production, District Secretariat sources said Rs.31.30 Mn has been allocated for the projects and many have already been completed while others are nearing completion. The district that bore the brunt of LTTE terrorism for over three decades is now bustling with life and activity. The people, mostly agricultural and fisher families, have returned to their traditional way of life.
The district was a mine-infested region, inaccessible to the Government's development programs and experienced constant exodus and displacement of the people under the LTTE's terrorist regime. Some of the projects implemented in the first two months of the year are, improvement of gravity irrigation at the Kanukkernikulam tank in the Maritimepattu Divisional Secretariat area at a cost of Rs.2 Mn, establishment of an animal breeder farm at Maritimepattu at Rs. 0.2 Mn, improvement of RB /LB fields and the channel system of lift irrigation at the Muthuiyankaddu at Rs.6 Mn, improvement of the DDI's office complex at Oddusuddan at Rs.1.30 Mn, improvement of the ramp and construction of a bridge and causeway at the Vavunikulam tank in Manthai East at Rs.3.30 Mn, and the establishment of a dairy village in Manthai East at cost of Rs.7 Mn.
These are some ongoing projects which will be completed soon, secretariat sources said. Rs.83.3 Mn has been allocated by the Economic Development Ministry under the Emergency Northern Recovery Project for improvement of rural roads, construction of causeways and provision of drinking water wells for a population of 18,013 in 21 villages in the district and Rs,63.6 Mn has already been released, the sources said.
Housing units completed for 50 families among the last batch of 156 families were handed over to the beneficiaries last week at a ceremony attended by Rehabilitation Minister M.H. Gunaratne Weerakoon, Deputy Minister of Rehabilitation Vinayagamurthy Muralidaran, Northern Province Governor Maj.Gen.G.A. Chandrasiri, Mullaitivu GA N. Vedanayagan, senior military officers and other VIPs. These housing units were constructed at a cost of Rs.18.75 Mn. Another Rs. 39.75 has been allocated for the construction of housing units for the remaining 106 families. Minister Weerakoon also laid the foundation stone for the next housing complex.
Long-term plans to transform Pudukudiyiruppu, Oddusuddan and Mullaitivu as advanced and modern townships with more educational, health care and residential facilities are under way. It is anticipated that the Mullaitivu district will have better townships than Jaffna and Vavuniya, under the projects, the sources said.
Modern township projectsThe Urban Development Authority (UDA) is already working on the modern township projects. Tourism centres, adventure parks and mini golf courses will feature under the town planning.
Electrification projects are under implementation and 100% electrification to the entire district will be achieved soon. At the end of the third quarter of last year, 26,802 fully damaged houses were reconstructed and an additional 12,558 new houses built. Nearly 10,000 partly damaged houses were repaired.
Last year, the Economic Development Ministry, under its Irrigation Development Works program to increase agricultural productivity allocated Rs. 2,022 Mn. An extent of 20,589 acres and 17 tanks are covered under the project, benefiting nearly 9,000 farmers. About 1,215 acres abandoned agricultural lands were also reclaimed under the project.
Agricultural equipment including 206 two-wheel tractors, 144 four-wheel tractors and 3,639 water pumps have been distributed among the farmers. Seeds supplied include 2,723 tonnes of paddy, 0.220 tonnes of ground nuts, 0.060 tonnes of black gram, 0.030 tonnes of green gram, 0.040 tonnes of cowpea, 0.050 tonnes of red onions, 0.004 tonnes of maize and 0.002 tonnes of gingelly. This is in addition to the highly subsidised fertilisers and concessional services, for ploughing the lands. Also 181 sprayers, 176 rolls of barbed wire and 1,500 organic tools were also supplied to the farmers.
Tanks restoredUnder the Conflict Affected Region Emergency Project, 10 Tanks, including the four major tanks - the Vavunikkulam, Maruthamkulam, Kalvilankulam and Kollavilankulam tanks have been restored. The Thenniyankulam Project was implemented under the Pro-poor Economic Advancement and Community Enhancement Project.
The balance amount required for tank rehabilitation work is estimated at Rs. 900 million and the Muthuiyankulam Tank will also be rehabilitate under future programs. The extent of irrigable land will be 6,112 acres and the number of farmer families benefiting is 3,330. Rs. 1,800 Million is required for restoring the Kanukkery Tank and the number of families benefiting is 320 and the extent of land is 1,813 acres.
Under previous fund allocations, Rs. 23,450.75 Mn had been provided for improvements to the 224.67 km road network within the district including the construction of new roads, renovation or rehabilitation. All the roads are asphalted. Seven highways, including the Kandy - Jaffna A 09 highway and the Paranthan-Karachchi-Mullaitivu A 035 highway, have been developed by the RDA under the fund allocation of the Economic Development Ministry.
The Economic Development Ministry, Local Government Ministry and the Provincial Council rehabilitated 12 roads extending 65.5 Km at a cost of Rs.1,424 Million. 50 houses were constructed under the Kokkilai Housing Project and 500 houses were constructed under the Welioya Housing Project funded by the Resettlement Ministry.
The cultivation of paddy, highland crops, vegetables and fruits that had diminished to lowest levels prior to the first quarter of 2009, during the LTTE terrorist regime, improved considerably in the post-conflict period.
Up to now paddy cultivation has been recorded at 17,769 tonnes, high land crops 7,692 tonnes, vegetable cultivation 2,123 tonnes and fruit cultivation 565 tonnes. The targeted production for 2016 is 82,600 tonnes of paddy, 22,000 tonnes other field crops, 56,590 tonnes highland crops and 6,650 tonnes ground nuts.
It is projected that the increased level of cultivation will contribute to 4 percent of GDP in 2016.
Schools developedThe total number of schools in the Mullaitivu district is 115 with a student population of 24,037 and 1,508 teachers. Improvements of educational standards is a main focus of the Government.
Under the Mahinda Chintana vision of developing 1000 secondary schools and 5000 primary schools throughout the country, 6 Core Schools and 22 Feeder Schools in the Thunukkai Educational Zone and 4 Core Schools and 9 Feeder Schools in Mullaitivu Educational Zone are to be developed at a cost of Rs. 5 million and Rs. 4.5 million respectively.
The nearly 15,000 coastal population living along the coastal length extending 70 Km are blessed with a fertile fishing zone.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and the provincial administration have implemented many programs for the social and economic welfare of the fishing communities. Fish production that was 1379.55 tonnes in 2010 increased three-fold to 4,361.73 tonnes in 2011 and a considerable increase recorded in the current year. It is projected that fish production will increase several fold in the future.
The line ministry distributed fishing nets, mechanized boats, non mechanized boats, and other fishing gear to the fisher families who had lost everything during the war against terrorism.
The Ministry also introduced several welfare projects, including insurance, pension and scholarship schemes for school-going children of the fisher families.