Sri Lanka to take leased land from privatized firms for worker housing
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal to take-over leased land from privatized plantations companies to build over 2,500 houses with title deeds for plantations workers.
Sri Lanka plans to build 2,551 houses under a program labelled ‘Haritha Ran’, and 1,134 houses will also be built under an aid scheme from India for families hit by disasters.
Another 75 title deeds will be granted to families who were caught in the Miriyabedde landslide disaster, who are now living in temporary accommodation.
The land will be taken from privatized plantations.
Most plantations workers are living in so-called ‘line rooms’ built by British planters for workers who migrated from India for work.
After the plantations were privatized, their houses were upgraded through a welfare trust and other means but they did not have title. The plantations companies are also on lease with weak title and land is frequently re-taken by the state for various purposes.
Thousands of estate workers made Sri Lanka their home and were born in the country.
The emergence of nationalism in Sri Lanka saw the banning of naturalization after native rulers gained self-determination from the British and control of a law making assembly. Many were sent back to India under a pact.
In earlier times, where there was no nationalist hate under ancient kings, workers who migrated to Sri Lanka and naturalized include, toddy tappers, cinnamon peelers. (Colombo/Oct19/2017).