Maximum relief measures for victims – President
President Maithripala Sirisena says the Government has decided to stop the importation of vehicles for all government institutions including the Ministries this year.
The President instructed the officials to rapidly implement the programme to construct the houses destroyed due to the flooding and landslides.
He made these remarks participating in a special discussion with the National Council for Disaster Management held at the Presidential Secretariat,today (30).
The Government will take steps to reconstruct 640 completely destroyed houses and with the assistance of the members of the Tri-Forces and Civil Defence Force, National Housing Development Authority, as well as to renovate another 5,329 partially destroyed houses with the assistance of Ministry of Vocational Training.
The President also instructed the officials to submit a comprehensive report regarding the details of all the roads, schools, electricity supply systems and health service providing institutions which have been destroyed due to the flooding and landslides and pledged to take speedy solutions in this regard.
Further, President Sirisena instructed the officials to identify lands located beyond the landslide-prone areas to construct new houses and further emphasized not to resettle the people in Conservation areas making them illegal settlers.
The President also said that all the decisions, taking in this regard should not take to gain narrow political agendas, as well as those decisions should be long-lasting policy decisions for the betterment of the country.
The country and its citizens have to face this kind of catastrophes due to some decisions aiming to political gain and thinking only about the voter base, instead of taking right policy decisions.
The Government has decided to grant compensation for all deceased persons and the President pointed out till the present Government came into the power, only Rs.15,000 has given as death compensation for each person and the present government has increased that amount to Rs.100,000. The President told the officials to look into the possibilities of providing special benefits to the family members of the deceased persons.
The President drew the attention of the officials on the need to implement awareness building programmes on disaster risk reduction strategies for the people living in the vulnerable areas, as these people have faced a similar kind of situation in 2003 as well.
During the meeting, Minister of Education expressed his views and updated the meeting regarding the initiative by the Ministry to provide books, school uniforms, shoes and other essential materials for all the affected school children.
He further said that steps have been taken to issue school certificates to those who have lost theirs, from the Department of Examinations free of charge.
Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said the Ministry will provide electricity meters free of charge to the affected and a six month extension would be given to pay defaulted electricity bills for all the disaster victims.
Ministers and MPs, Ministry Secretaries, public servants, Heads of Security services participated in this meeting.