Anuradhapura mega water projects delayed | Daily News


 

Stakeholders in tug-of-war

Anuradhapura mega water projects delayed

The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSD) and the Irrigation Department are involved in a tug of in finding water sources for five major water supply projects in Anuradhapura.

The construction work of Thambuttegama Water Project is now undergoing, but its water sources have not been defined yet. The project will benefit around 35,000 families of Thambuttegama and Thalawa Divisional Secretariat areas.

The Eppawala, Rajangane, Nochchiyagama and Giribawa Integrated Water Project is also in the same issue. It was agreed earlier to use Rajangane Reservoir as the water source but 25,000 farmer families under the Rajangane colonization scheme opposed it. The Chinese government provides Rs. 18,000 million to complete the Thambuttegama project that will benefit about 35,000 families.

The proposed Eppawala-Rajangane-Nochchiyagama and Giribawa Integrated Water Supply Project and the Thambuttegama Water Project fed by the Rajangane Reservoir will supply 69,300 cubic meters of water. Although the Irrigation Department has agreed to release water at the beginning, now they have deviated from their earlier stand.

The proposed water balance study of the Kalaoya River basin which the Irrigation Department agreed to provide on May 2, 2017 has been delayed as well.

Anuradhapura Government Agent R.W. Wanninayake told Daily News that a special meeting of all the stakeholders held on May 2, 2018 decided to conduct a water balance study of the Kalaoya River basin as requested by the Irrigation Department and the Rajangane farmer organizations, but it has not been done so far. The department spokesman said that the study is vital for the proposed water projects.

He further stated that the World Bank has agreed to provide 13 million US dollars to set up measures to prevent floods and to carry out water balance studies of the Kalaoya, Meeoya, Yanoya, Malwathuoya, Mahaweli and Kelani River basins to measure water resources that can be extracted for the proposed drinking water projects.

 


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