Reservoir neglect heightens farmer plight - minister
Irrigation and Water Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said
if small scale reservoirs had been renovated, farmers would have been
able to cope with the prevailing drought.
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva
unveils a name board after inaugurating renovation
programmes of six tanks in the Mahaweli G Zone.
"The renovation of small scale water reservoirs had been delayed for
a long time resulting in the present predicament of the farmers,"
Minister de Silva said hitting out at environmentalists and wildlife
organisations who had become a stumbling block to the renovation
The minister said President Mahinda Rajapaksa requested him to go
ahead with tank renovation programmes considering the gravity of the
situation lest they had to wait for five years to obtain permits from
environment and wildlife organisations to renovate these tanks.
Minister de Silva was addressing a meeting at the Mahaweli auditorium
in Bakamua. The meeting was held after commencing renovation programmes
of six tanks in the Mahaweli G Zone. Due to the drought and under a
proposal of the farming community, the Irrigation and Water Management
Ministry commenced a programme to store water in the dry zone in a
This programme is targeted to ensure an uninterrupted water supply in
both Yala and Maha seasons for thousands of acres of paddy land in
Elahera, Giritale and Bakamuna and the surrounding areas, de Silva said.
The minister said in addition, they will provide water for wildlife
in these areas. Under this programme, the Irrigation Department will
build several tanks, he said.
De Silva said the entire programme will cost Rs 1,200 million while
the Treasury had allocated separate funds for this task. The building of
tanks were commenced on the direction of President Rajapaksa who met
farmer representatives in the North Central Province recently.