Floods, landslides cost Rs 109 B Rs 70B needed to rebuild houses – PM

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By 2017-08-19

By Gagani Weerakoon

The cost of the destruction caused by the recent spate of floods and landslides in the South West of the country is more than a hundred billion rupees and the budgetary allocation for the reconstruction is about half of what is needed.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told a public meeting in Matara yesterday that the total needed to repair the damage is Rs 109 billion and the money allocated for disasters in the 2017 budget is Rs 60 billion.

"Now the government has to find this balance money somehow and ensure that it is spent effectively," he said after participating in a flood relief programme in the Matara area.

At least Rs 70 billion is needed to reconstruct the houses that were destroyed the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister was also inspecting the progress of relief and compensation measures. He also said apart from reconstructing houses, the government is in need of another Rs 30-35 billion to reconstruct and rehabilitate damaged roads, businesses, water supply, electricity and other infrastructure.

The floods, in May this year, resulted from a heavy monsoon and were made worse by the precursor of Cyclone Mora.

It left 208 people dead and some 12,000 houses either partially or completely destroyed. Nearly 690,000 were displaced and dozens went missing.

The worst-hit districts were Kalutara, Matara and Ratnapura.

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