Colombo: Former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam on Sunday proposed implementing his concept of PURA, which envisages providing urban amenities to rural areas as a key strategy for rural development in Sri Lanka. Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Area (PURA) envisages provision of physical, electronic and knowledge connectivities leading to economic connectivity using rural skills and competence.
"I have proposed this system of PURA numbering 7,000 for inclusive development of India having 600,000 villages with 700 million. For Sri Lanka, I would suggest creation of 150 PURA complexes," Kalam said during a lecture delivered at President Mahinda Rajapaksa's official residence 'Temple Trees' in Colombo.
Kalam is in Sri Lanka on a four-day tour to deliver a series of lectures as part of Rajapaksa's trilingual initiative to promote peace among the country's Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities.
"Dr Kalam's ideas for rural economic advancement were much appreciated by us," Rauff Hakeem, the leader of the main Muslim party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, told reporters after meeting the former president.
Kalam is the second Indian dignitary to visit Colombo within a week. External affairs minister SM Krishna concluded a 4-day visit to the country on Thursday.