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Flood victims to get Rs.7,500 house rent allowance

The government will provide a monthly house rent allowance of Rs.7,500 to victims of the recent floods so that they can move out of shelters and into temporary accommodation until their houses are repaired.

The rent allowance is set to cover the period from June to August.

“We hope to complete reconstruction work within the next three months but if it is longer, we will extend their rent payments,” Co-Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

“The floods which affected 15 districts in the country displaced 152,152 families with 3,037 houses completely damaged and 25,647 houses partially damaged. The government at present has set up 145 welfare centres for 2,937 families in the Kalutara, Matara and Galle districts.

Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa has informed Cabinet that it was also cheaper for the government to provide rent than to continue to house them in shelters. According to government calculations, it cost Rs.42,400 to supply food and other supplies to a family of four per month.

He also informed Cabinet that those who can return to their homes have been granted an advance of Rs.10,000 by through the Divisional Secretariats.

Yapa also pointed out that the maintenance of these shelters prolonged the return of normal life of the flood affected people.

Cabinet on Tuesday also approved Minister Yapa’s proposal to fill the vacancies in the National Disaster Relief Centre (NDRC) with immediate effect, “to attach a Disaster Relief Officer to each Divisional Secretary Division and to create new posts for essential duties’ to strengthen the disaster relief mechanism at the district and divisional level.

Those taking selfies on railway tracks face arrest

The Railways Department yesterday said that those who take selfies on railway track would be arrested.

Sri Lanka Railway Protection force personnel will also be deployed on railwaytracks to arrest the people who take selfies on tracks.

The Department has taken this decision following several accidents in Kollupitiya and Ambalangoda involving taking selfies on railway tracks.

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