On November 21, Amit Shah visited Chennai for two days to inaugurate various development projects and also to meet and galvanize BJP cadre ahead of Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021. Few of the projects involved inauguration of Thervoy Kandigai reservoir, the fifth reservoir in Chennai and laying the foundation stone for phase 2 Chennai metro.
During his speech made in Chennai, he said, "When Modiji visited Jaffna in Sri Lanka, he did not forget his Tamil brothers and sisters and laid the foundation to give houses to Tamilians. Around 50,000 Tamilians will get the houses under this scheme and damaged temples of Sri Lanka will be repaired under this scheme." One can hear this statement at around 30:30 minutes in the speech in which Amit Shah was telling about the good works BJP did for Tamil Nadu. The same speech can be seen at Shah's Twitter handle.
The above statements made by Amit Shah has been shared with some details missing in it, which makes the statements misleading.
Amit Shah spoke about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Sri Lanka in 2015 when he had met the Tamils in Sri Lanka and handed them over 27,000 houses. These Tamils are the victims of civil war between Singhalese and Tamils residing in Sri Lanka in which around 100,000 people mostly Tamils were killed. The houses were built with assistance from the Indian government and the scheme was for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Northern and Eastern Province in Sri Lanka. But a detail that missed here is that it was that the project of constructing 50,000 houses was announced by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh during the State visit of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India in June 2010, according to Consulate General of India, Jaffna.
The first phase of IDP started in 2011 and successfully gave 1,000 houses in July 2012, according to High Commission of India, Colombo, Sri Lanka. An MOU with the Government of Sri Lanka on the modalities of implementation of the remaining 49,000 houses under the Project was signed on 17 January 2012. The second phase launched on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2 October 2012, which envisaged construction of 45,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces was completed in December 2018.
Later, the third phase was signed by the BJP-led Indian government in which they gave LKR 9,50,000 lakh per person for construction of 4,000 houses for estate workers in the Central and Uva Provinces. This phase of the project signed in April 2016 and work started in October 2016.
The fourth phase was announced by PM Narendra Modi on 12 May 2017 during his visit to Sri Lanka, where he promised to give 10,000 more houses to the estate workers of Central and Uva provinces. Phase four was formally signed in 2018, and money spent was Sri Lankan rupee (LKR) 11 billion.
As on 31 December 2019, more than a total of LKR 31 billion has been disbursed by the Government of India under Indian Housing Project.
Ministry of External Affairs and United Nations Habitat also shared the same details on their website.
During his visit to Sri Lanka in 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi handed 27,000 houses to Tamils who were victims of civil war in the nation. The NDA government continued the IDP initiative and signed a memorandum of additional 10,000 houses for victims of civil war after coming to power in 2014, still, the fact remains that the inception of the scheme was done by the Congress government in 2009 which was further taken by them.
This report was earlier fact-checked by The Quint.
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