Underworld, poverty two sides of same coin: Weerawansa
Jan 6, 2011

Our Police force is capable of tackling the underworld but is not in a position to prevent the creation of it as the underworld is a social problem as well as a moral issue, Construction, Engineering, Housing and Public Utilities Minister Wimal Weerawansa said.

Addressing a ceremony held at Thirappane in Anuradhapura in connection with the launching of the ‘Janasewana Housing Village’ for middle income families, Minister Weerawansa went on to say those social maladies cannot be cured as long as poverty remains a factor in society. Therefore, the most effective way to resolve social issues, he said was to put an end to poverty. “It is a wellknown fact that 99% of those in the underworld or serving prison terms are from poverty stricken or broken homes who have gone through immense hardships. The Underworld and poverty are two sides of the same coin. One of the most effective solutions to the problem of poverty is to provide them with decent housing. One of the major challenges facing the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) is to provide housing to the underprivileged which in turn helps the society in a big way,” Minister Weerawansa emphasized.

The NHDA expects to launch 100 housing projects island wide in 2011 with the first one at Thirappane to go along with the ‘Deyata Kirula’ programme. The NHDA had assisted in the construction of 36,000 houses in 2011 at a cost of Rs. 6 billion, Minister Weerawansa said. The NHDA grants housing loans starting from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 500,000 to low income families at low interest rates in contrast to Rs. 7,500 to Rs. 15,000 that had been released to them under previous governments. The NHDA plans to involve itself in the construction of a minimum of 70,000 houses in 2012, he said.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka