‘Nothing from Colombo to rebuild Chavakachcheri’ – UC

[TamilNet, Thursday, 15 January 2004, 15:43 GMT]
‘The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) hasn’t provided any assistance at all so far to rebuild or repair public buildings and amenities in Chavakachcheri which were destroyed in the war although two years have gone by since the town’s residents resettled’, said the Secretary of the Chavakachcheri Urban Council, Mr. M. S Saravanabhava, addressing the inauguration of the newly formed Urban Development Advisory Board for the second largest town of Jaffna peninsula Wednesday.

“Lot of publicity has been given to empty projects for development and rehabilitation in Jaffna. We should refrain from giving publicity to development plans for which we haven’t obtained funds. We should find the necessary funds before preparing plans to rebuild and develop our war-destroyed towns and villages. Otherwise nothing will happen”, Mr. S. Isaimaaran, an official from the political division of the Liberation Tigers for the Thenmaradchi division of Jaffna, in his address to the advisory board members.

The Secretary of the Chavakachcheri UC said that the Japanese had declined to grant aid for rebuilding the Chavakachcheri District Hospital because the war-destroyed town has no sewerage to dispose waste.

“We cannot build a sewerage system for the town because the Sri Lanka army occupies the Chavakachcheri coast and lands belonging to the UC in Thanangkilappu where it is necessary to build a pumping station for disposing waste water”, he said.

“A need has arisen today for us to develop this town with whatever resources we can find” Mr. Saravanabhava emphasised.

The Chavakachcheri Urban Development Advisory Board comprises nine members who are traders, professionals and NGO representatives from the town and its environs.

Urban development in Sri Lanka is largely under the purview of Colombo’s Urban Development Authority (UDA).

Special UDA teams visited Jaffna and Chavakachcheri after the GOSL and the Tigers signed a ceasefire in February 2002 ostensibly to prepare master plans to develop the war ravaged northern towns. Despite the publicity that surrounded the UDA visit to Jaffna, the GOSL has not given ‘a red cent’ for urban reconstruction and development in the peninsula and in all the Tamil majority areas of the northeast, local government officials say.


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