- 120 MW to be added to national grid upon project completion
- 94 km North Central Maha Ela project to be completed in 4 years instead of 6
- Compensation for farmers displaced due to irrigation projects
The work on the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project is scheduled to be completed by June next year, Secretary to the Ministry of Irrigation Anura Dissanayake said yesterday, adding that the government will be able to add 120 megawatts (MW) of power generation to the national power grid, which is considered as a key component of the government’s return on investment by next February.
Speaking to the Ministerial Consultative Committee which met in Parliament yesterday, Dissanayake stated that all funds necessary have been allocated for this purpose through the budget and that this project is scheduled to be completed by June, supplying water to nearly 355 tanks.
He said that the 26 km long tunnel and the 94 km long North Central Maha Ela project, which will feed 1200 small tanks and proposed to be completed in six years, will now be completed in four years. He also noted that with adequate budgetary provisions allocated to the Irrigation Ministry, several other projects that have been delayed will be completed soon.
As such the Gin and Nilwala River projects to supply water to the Hambantota Port and the industrial zone surrounding the Mattala Airport along the Chandrika Lake which had been inactive for five years will be restored and completed by the year 2026-2027. This project will carry 450 million cubic meters of water which will be distributed to several areas including Embilipitiya and Hambantota.
The Secretary added that the Lower Malwathu Oya Water Supply Scheme will be completed soon to address the acute water shortage in many areas including Mannar.
Meanwhile Minister of Irrigation and State Minister of Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management Chamal Rajapaksa said compensation should be paid for the lands acquired prior to the commencement of irrigation projects, and instructed that necessary measures be taken in this regard.
The instructions were given after it was revealed by MP Dilan Perera that around 6000 families who lost their lands because of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project had not yet been compensated.
State Minister of Tanks, Reservoirs and Irrigation Development related to Rural Paddy Fields Anuradha Jayaratne, State Minister of Canals and Common Infrastructure Development in Settlements in Mahaweli Zones Siripala Gamalath, MPs Faizal Cassim, Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda, Nimal Piyathissa, A. Shritharan, Dr. Suren Raghavan, Udayana Kirindigoda, S.M.M. Muszhaaraff, Marjan Faleel, S.M. Rasamanickam and government officials were present at this meeting.