Yan oya reservoir to be filled by September – Minister Duminda | Daily News

Yan oya reservoir to be filled by September – Minister Duminda

Kala oya river feeding Rajangane reservoir.
Kala oya river feeding Rajangane reservoir.

Irrigation Water Resources and Disaster Management Minister Duminda Dissanayaka revealed that arrangements will be finalized for filling the Horowpothana Yan oya reservoir which has been prolonging since the beginning of 2017.

Speaking to Daily News with regard to the lining up of the project and the development plans coming under his Ministry, the Minister said further that for accelerating the slow progress being shown concerning lower Malwathuoya reservoir project mainly due to lack of allocations, steps are being taken to entrust the construction work to an acceptable foreign investor most probably the Chinese CAMC company. The CAMC completed the head work of Yan oya reservoir project including the main dam one year in advance and presently entrusted with the speedy construction of 21 km long reservoir's left bank canal way.

The Minister stated that once completed, both reservoirs will bear a water capacity of 318.000 acre feet capable of irrigating around 60,000 acres, The total cost amounting to Rs. 48,500 million.

Referring to the restrictions over the issue of Rs. 5,000 worth dry food ration to the drought affected farmer families in Anuradhapura district, the Minister said that according to the norms and criteria indicated in the Disaster Management Ministry recent circular, the number of families by last year's August eligible for the food ration which amounted to around 159,000 has dropped in to 59,420 at the end of last March and again cut down to 48,462 families by the District Disaster Management Unit. He said that although the drought is continuing, with intermittent rains experienced, tanks got some water and farmers have taken to cultivation even at smaller extents. The drought relief shall be offered only to those solely depending on agriculture for sustenance and not blessed with any yielding during the last three cultivation seasons. “However, I intervened in this matter and now the number of beneficiary families have been enhanced up to 70,000”, Dissanayake emphasized.

The Minister referred also to the controversial Thambuttegama, Rajanganaya water scheme was at a standstill due to the grave opposition of the Rajangane farmers against the proposed intake of water from Rajangane tank to run the Thambuttegama water project. “The proposal has been granted cabinet approval in 2014. The Chinese government has signed agreement to provide financial assistance worth around Rs. 19,000 million. A contractor has been chosen and advance payment made already”, he added.

“I personally am agreeable to realize this project, provided that the Rajangane farmers consented to it. I have called for a detailed report from Irrigation Department showcasing the water capacity variations, water spilling nature etc of the Rajangane reservoir and the water flowing pattern of the Kalayoya, the feeder river of Rajangane during the last 15 years before taking a final decision. Also, I have requested the views of the Water Supply Ministry regarding the proposed project for me to study the situation”, Dissanayake emphasized.

He said that there were proposals from various quarters including the farmer organisations, such as tapping water from Kala oya close to the bridge over it at Thambuttegama along Anuradhapura - Puttlam main road, and the possibility of getting the intake that would be 18,000 cubic meters per day. The Minister said that the he would instruct the Irrigation Department to look into the possibility of constructing a mini reservoir between Neelabemma project and Gamgewadiya located in Wilpaththuwa sanctuary where the Kala oya river joined the sea as an alternative solution.

“The Kala oya basin is the third longest river in the country of which the length is around 145 km. There has been a consultancy assignment for reviewing the present status of water availability in Kala oya river basin and thereby to decide the possibility of extracting 25,300 cubic meter of water per day from Rajangane reservoir to fulfill the water supply demand of Eppawala, Rajangane, Nochchiyagama, Giribawa and Thambuttegama water supply schemes, without compromising the water requirements of other water users”, the Minister pointed out further.


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