President Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Welanwita Village at Haldummulla in the Badulla District this morning (26) to inspect the progress of the first Gama Samaga Pilisandara (Discussion with the Village) programme.
The President launched the ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandara’ programme on September 25 last year with the objective of meeting the people of remote villages that have not been given due attention, inquiring into the plights of the residents and finding solutions after bringing them to the attention of the officials at the location.
Welanwita village in Haldummulla, which was identified as the most remote Divisional Secretariat Division in the Badulla District was the first area selected for the programme. The President instructed the relevant authorities to provide immediate solutions to the identified problems that were raised by the people. The purpose of the President’s visit today (26) was to review the progress of the projects after seven months.
President Rajapaksa’s observation tour commenced at the Kotabogasthenna Grounds constructed by the Army personnel at the request of the people.
Two buses plying from Haputale to Welanwita will be added from today. The two buses plying through eight villages twice a day will provide a solution to the transportation problem in the area.
The President inspected the new house built by the Army, which was damaged in a wild elephant attack. The President spoke to several land deed holders who have benefited from the ‘Gama Samaga Pilisandara’ programme and instructed them to continue with their cultivations.
The elephant fence in Welanwita village which is 6 kilometers in length was inactive for nearly two years. Now, the electric fence has been repaired and reactivated. The people of the village have been entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the elephant fence. Six persons have been appointed per each kilometer for this purpose with a monthly allowance of Rs.7,500 per person.
The road extending from Nikapotha towards the Welanwita School has been carpeted. The rehabilitation of the 14 kilometers long road that connects Koslanda, Wellawaya from Welanwita is underway.
The President also inquired into the water project that is being constructed as a solution to the drinking water issue in the area.
The electricity to Akkara Siyaya, Kumaratenna and Welanwita villages has been supplied at a cost of Rs. 54 million. The Ceylon Electricity Board has taken steps to supply electricity to 83 houses within three months.
The President also made a stop to talk to the people gathered at the roadside and inquired into their well-being.
The President, who inspected the completed and ongoing development projects and road development activities, stressed the need to complete the projects expeditiously so that they can be handed over to the people.
The Maha Sangha and the residents extended their gratitude to President Rajapaksa since many of the issues faced by the people of the village have been resolved following the arrival of the President.
The President paid his attention to the request made by the people’s representatives to develop the Bandarawela Urban Plan and Haputale City in a way to attract tourists.
Uva Province Governor A.J.M. Muzammil, Minister of State Thenuka Vidanagamage, Members of Parliament, Sudarshana Denipitiya, Chamara Sampath Dasanayake and G. Tissakutti Arachchi, People’s Representatives of the area and government officials were also present.