My dear Fellow Citizens,
Over three years have passed since opening of this Consulate in Jaffna. This is the 4th Republic Day that we are celebrating. We can certainly look back with pride about what has been achieved during this short span. We had started with mere three officials including me and it took more than two years to have the full sanctioned strength of manpower. But we never relented about shortage of officials and carried on with indomitable spirit to serve the war stricken people of Northern Province. On one side, we had to equip the office with additional infrastructure to efficiently as well as effectively function, and on the other hand, we had to take the responsibility of implementing many Development Projects in the most desired manner and with speed.
Of all the Projects, the flag ship project is the Indian Housing Project. The First phase of 1000 houses Pilot Project was completed in July 2012 in spite of all the difficulties particularly its spread over 25 locations remotely connected to each other spanning the entire Northern Province. The Second Phase of 43000 houses had gone into stream in October 2012 and today more than 10250 houses have been completed.
The Reconstruction of Northern Railway line, which is implemented by the dynamic Public Sector Company, has seen tremendous progress ahead of schedule. The link upto Palai is almost completed and it is eagerly expected that in a few months, the Yarl Devi Express will reach Jaffna. I wish to congratulate the IRCON officials who are here in large number for their dedication to make this a reality.
Very soon Atchuvely Industrial Estate will become functional with the 25 acres of it becoming available with the entire necessary infrastructure in place which is being undertaken under Indian Grant Assistance. Northsea Fishnet Factory has been able to increase its production Five times since last year with the Machinery provided by the Government of India. 1320 small and medium businesses which were affected in the armed conflict in Killinochchi and Mullaitivu districts have been able to re-establish their businesses with Government of India’s assistance. The construction of 200-bed ward complex in the Vavunia District Hospital is almost at the stage of completion with the funding of Government of India.
Many more projects such as Construction of Jaffna Cultural Centre, restoration of Tiruketeeswaram temple in Mannar, Renovation of Duraiyappa Stadium, setting up of Language Laboratory, Handicraft Village,etc are in pipe line at various stages. In addition, hundreds of scholarships are provided to Sri Lankan students for studying in India as well as in Sri Lanka. The list is unending.
I am also happy to inform you that in addition to Indian Bank which has been effectively functioning in Jaffna as old as this Consulate, State Bank of India has opened its Branch a few months back. The LIC Lanka, whose parent company is LIC of India, has recently opened two more branches in Jaffna Dist. IOC Lanka is also spreading its network in Northern Province.
I thought it is my duty to tell my fellow citizens what we have been doing for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the people of the Northern Province who have suffered three decades long due to armed conflict. I would like to inform you that Government of India is determined to be a trusted partner in future too in bettering the lives and livelihood of the people of the Northern Province.
I would like to thank you all on behalf of my colleagues in this Consulate for joining us on the occasion of Flag hoisting on the 65th Republic Day.
Thank you one again. Jai Hind!