Kurunegala farmers fear harvest decline | Daily News


 

Extra water diverted from Bathalagoda Reservoir

Kurunegala farmers fear harvest decline

Irrigation engineer says diversion due to repairs

Kurunegala farmers using the Bathalagoda Reservoir as their main water source for cultivation, told the Daily News that they fear a decline in their harvests this Yala Season as the authorities have suddenly begun diverting more water from the tank.

The Bathalagoda Reservoir; the second largest tank in the Kurunegala District, with a capacity of 4,849 acre-feet; plays a major role in the cultivation of 8,000 acres of farm lands. The tank’s water is diverted to Hiripitiya and several other nearby villages through a network of canals.

When contacted, Hiriyala Chief Irrigation engineer Dasan Rathnayake said that more water is being diverted in order to renovate the reservoir’s main sluice gate. He added that it had not been maintained in nearly 120 years.

The sluice gate had been constructed by British Irrigation Engineer Henry Parker in 1902, Rathnayake said. He added that such a sluice gate should be renovated every 20 to 30 years, and that it cannot be done without removing additional water.

The Irrigation Engineer also said that farmers need not worry about it as the sluice gate would be renovated within a short period of time.


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