Mannar delimitation discriminatory, says Bathiudeen

Minister of Industry and Commerce and Vanni District MP Rishad Bathiudeen (right) joins Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the opening of the Mannar Water Supply Scheme on 7 July

The boundary delimitation of Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mannar District discriminated against its populace and the speedy resettlement of the district’s IDPs is the need of the hour.

“I believe that the Prime Minister will be able to help the people of Mannar District to resolve this boundary issue,” said Vanni District MP and Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen on 8 July in Mannar.

Minister Bathiudeen, joined by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Rauff Hakeem, was speaking at the launch of the Mannar Water Supply Scheme constructed with the financial support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The project launched on 8 July at a cost of Rs. 2.2 billion.

“The helpless IDPs in the Mannar District continue to suffer. They lack even basic facilities and they do not have human dignity. Today I plead with visiting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to resolve and help end the suffering of IDPs of the Mannar District. I am confident of his support,” said Minister Bathiudeen.

“We have a serious problem of Pradeshiya Sabha delimitation as well. The number of elected Pradeshiya Sabha members for the Mannar District is decided based on the 2012 population census. The Pradeshiya Sabha boundaries for the district have been drawn based on the census and as a result voters of the Mannar District have been heavily discriminated. Water and electricity supply has been a longstanding issue for this district. The Asian Development Bank-assisted water supply project has faced challenges in Vavuniya but the same project implemented in Mannar has become successful. I thank you Prime Minister and the Minister of Urban Development, Water Supply and Drainage Rauff Hakeem for helping us to make this project a success. Twelve thousand water connections have been provided by this project at this stage and can provide 4,000 more connections.  The entire district will benefit from the second phase which will supply water from Kallar to Madhu. The district-wide project is estimated at Rs. 19 billion. Thirty-five thousand families will benefit from this. Therefore the water problem of the entire Mannar district will be solved.”

The Mannar Water Supply project brings 24-hour uninterrupted water supply to Mannar. It is implemented by the City Planning and Water Supply Ministry together with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board. The project will provide drinking water to about 60,000 people in the district.

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