Four-and-a-half years after Eelam War IV, Mulliwaikkal, the scene of an infamous carnage as well as the killing of Tiger chieftain V Prabhakaran, is slowly coming back to life, with India lending a helping hand.
Eighty of the 140 houses earmarked for Mulliwaikkal under the US$ 270 million Indian Housing Project for the war-affected are nearing completion, said Justin Mohan, First Secretary (Development Cooperation) at the Indian High Commission.
Under the ‘Owner Driven Scheme’ for 43,000 houses in the North and East of Sri Lanka, each beneficiary family is given LKR 550,000 (US$ 4,230.7). The money is disbursed through their bank accounts in four installments, based on progress in construction. The beneficiary can use his own design, workers and material. “Priority was given to the destitute, the disabled, and families headed by women. Coordinated work with periodic and surprise inspections and daily monitoring and updating of progress, helped us keep the deadline. We have completed 2,000 houses and 10,000 will be completed by December. By 2015 end, the project will be over,” Mohan told Express.
“I got the installments on time,” said Sinnavan Susie of Mulliwaikkal East. But she needs LKR 150,000 (US$ 1153) more to complete her house. “I don’t have it, being a coolie and a single mother of three daughters. Banks demand collaterals and I don’t have any,” she sighed.
Ekanathaswamy, a disabled man who is fed by a married daughter, was happy, but he can’t get LKR 50,000 to fix the doors. “The army has seized the 5 acres of land I had,” he said.
Kili of Valainjamadam who was a wealthy fishermen before the war, said he was having difficulty raising LKR 500,000 because the army was holding his land.
V Ulaganathan, of the same area, who works in the cooperative department, said: “I welcome Indian aid. But I need another LKR 300,000 (US$ 2307) to build a decent house. There are 32 other families here with fewer means.''