Sri Lanka to subsidise pipe-borne water connections for 150,000 low-income houses

Millennium Challenge Corporation Photo.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to connect 150,000 houses to pipe borne water in the first two quarters of 2020 by lowering initial connection costs and down payments, cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said.

The Water Board had capacity in some areas of its network, but the high cost of connections made it difficult for low income households to get connected, he said.

There was a down payment of 8,000 rupees and the cost of repairing road damage in giving connections and other fees may go up 20,000 rupees, especially near bigger roads.

“Some low income earners cannot afford to pay 8,000 rupees at once, therefore the cabinet agreed to reduce it to 2,500 rupees” Minister Gunewardene told reporters in Colombo.

Any balance fees could be paid in installments, under a plan proposed by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka’s National Water Supply and Drainage Board had 2.4 million connections covering 41 percent of the population. Last year, 110,000 new connections had been given. (Colombo/Mar05/2020)

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