Located in Badulla district, villages Welanwita and Akkara Seeya in Haldummulla area, which remained deprived of public amenities for a long time and where the majority is poor, have now entered into a period of rapid development.
Larger part of the expected targets included in the proposed development plan has already been achieved. The remaining is projected to be met in the next two months.
With a population around 48,000, Haldummulla is the most difficult Divisional Secretariat division in the Badulla District. Welanwita and Akkara Seeya considered to be the most neglected villages in the division. Commencing the “Discussion with the Village” Programme President Gotabaya Rajapaksa went on an inspection tour of Kumarathenna village in Haldummulla on September 25.
Villagers told the President that the people had abandoned their traditional homes due to their inability to meet even the basic needs. Heeding to their requests President instructed officials to attend to their needs for roads, electricity, water and schooling for children within three months.
Implementing the Programme a comprehensive development drive has been launched by 19 Government institutes under 51 projects.
President paid special attention to development of road network. 5km of the 12 km long Akkara Seeya – Welanwita road has been paved with concrete. Carpeting of the remaining 7k has started. After completion the travel time from Akkara Seeya to Welanwita will be reduced from 1 ½ hours to 20 minutes. The Ceylon Transport Board will add a passenger bus upon completion of the road.
Construction of Gampaha- Welanwita, Kalipanawala- Halkanna, Akkara Seeya – Kakkutuarawa and Beragala- Wellawaya roads has also commenced.
Pylons for power supply are being installed and the wiring will start soon. Once the groundwork is completed Sri Lanka Telecom and Mobitel are ready to meet communication requirements.
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board has completed the feasibility study report and preparation of estimate to supply drinking water facility.
The 17th Engineering Services Regiment is in charge of the construction of new building at Kumaratenna Vidyalaya in Welanwita. Construction of the 4-classroom building commenced on September 4. Work is expected to be completed before the new school term. Construction of the new classroom building at Soragune Vidyalaya has completed. As a solution to the shortage of teachers in schools, teachers have been appointed covering all subjects. New Principals have been appointed to Wellawaya – Gampaha Vidyalaya and Janananda Vidyalaya. Haputale Tamil Maha Vidyalaya is to be included in the project to elevate 1000 schools to the level of national schools.
Construction of Kotabogasthenna playground was completed and vested with the public recently.
Surveying of 187 plots of land has been completed and the remaining is scheduled to be concluded before the end of the year.
Lands under the purview of the Departments of Wildlife and Forest Conservation that can be released will be granted to the farmers who are engaged in traditional cultivations.
Agriculture Department has taken measures to implement several programmes to encourage cinnamon and pepper farmers. 57 farmers in Kumarathenna village are cultivating pepper in 160 acres. A pilot project to organize an organic village for them is underway. A cinnamon processing center is being built in Welanwita benefiting 31 farmers.
The Bureau of Geology and Mines and the District Coordinating Committee are working together to promote traditional pottery industry. 18 families in the area are engaged in the industry.
In order to prevent encroaching elephants into villages, construction of an electric fence from Pathaha to Ayispeella has commenced. Electric fences in Welanwita and Kumarathenna have been repaired and activated.
During his visit President inspected the house of Mr. Sarath Ranatunga in Kumarathenna destroyed by wild elephants. Upon President’s instructions the Sri Lanka Army has built a 3-bedroom house for the family.
Residents in the area express their gratitude to President Rajapaksa and the Government for the development programmes launched in Haldummulla village which was neglected by every government for a long period of time.