Yan Oya Reservoir Project construction inaugurated:
Another giant step in development drive - President
President Mahinda Rajapaksa who inaugurated the construction of the
Yan Oya Reservoir Project at Wahalkada, Kebithigollewa in the North
Central Province yesterday, identified it as another giant step in the
country's ongoing development drive.
Addressing a public gathering after initiating the project, President
Rajapaksa said although he was happy to inaugurate the project, it
should have ideally begun 40 years back.
"If it had been initiated at the time, just imagine what a fertile
land this would be today," the President said.
He also said delays were due to terrorism which plagued the area for
decades and other factors.
The President said since paving the way for people to live in peace
without fear by eradicating terrorism, it is now the government's
obligation and priority to make their lives prosperous and contended.
"The government's policy in respect of all affairs will continue to
be guided by the vital interests and well- being of the people. This
will not yield to any other consideration. The government will ensure
continued progress in all spheres and no one will be allowed to reverse
the hard earned gains," he said. Speaking on the prevailing drought,
President Rajapaksa said after conducting pirith chanting to end it,
several areas including Kotmale and Kandy which were facing an extended
spell of drought had experienced heavy rains.
The President said even the Mahanayaka Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter
had called him yesterday morning to convey his happiness about rain in
Kandy immediately after the chanting of pirith.
On the expansion of large scale irrigation projects, he said all
provinces now possess at least one such project.
President Rajapaksa said he knew about the hardships the people were
undergoing due to the drought and added that such projects will
contribute to alleviate their suffering and help their cultivations and
water requirements in the future. He assured the people that such
irrigation schemes will not be built while causing difficulties to the
people and added that all those who have lost property would be
He said he adviced officials that this should be a top priority
before work begins on such projects. The President said during the past,
the government, Provincial Councils and Pradeshiya Sabhas had worked in
tandem when expediting development projects for the masses' benefit.
He urged the people to ensure such continuity to drive the country
and people to greater heights.
Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva and S M Chandrasena and former
Chief Minister of North Central Province Berty Premalal Dissanayake also
North Central Governor Karunarathne Divulgane, ministers, state
officials and a large gathering were present. The Yan Oya reservoir is
constructed by building a dam across Yan Oya which flows to the sea from
The project will solve water problems in areas in the North Central
Province and parts of the Eastern Province including Kebithigollewa,
Padaviya, Welioya, Medawchchiya and Trincomalee.
The reservoir with a capacity of 254 million cubic metres is expected
to provide water to 5,000 hectare and to benefit directly 12,000 farmer
families affected by the drought throughout the year. The project's
estimated cost is Rs 21 billion. The project which is to be completed in
four years is expected to provide direct and indirect employment to
7,200 persons. The construction of the Yan Oya Irrigation Project will
ensure a huge area which had so far not been cultivated in the Eastern
and North Central Provinces to be brought under the plough. The project
will alleviate poverty of at least 12,000 families in the area affected
by the decades-long terrorism which prevented farmers from engaging in