Lower Malwathu Oya Reservoir Project headwork construction begins January | Daily News


 

Lower Malwathu Oya Reservoir Project headwork construction begins January

The Malwathu Oya.  Picture by Nimal Wijesinghe, Anuradhapura Additional District group Corr.
The Malwathu Oya. Picture by Nimal Wijesinghe, Anuradhapura Additional District group Corr.

The Irrigation Ministry is making arrangements to commence the headwork construction of the Anuradhapura Lower Malwathu Oya Reservoir Project from January, next year.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, during a recent visit to Tantirimale, told Tantirimale Raja Maha Vihara Chief Incumbent Ven. Tanthirimale Chandrarathana Nayake Thera that the funds needed to start the project would be provided from the budget of the new government.

The foundation stone for the proposed reservoir was laid by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was President in 2012, and again in 2014 by then Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. In August, 2018, then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, too, laid the foundation stone for the commencing of the headwork construction of the proposed Tantirimale Reservoir. However, the project saw no progress thereafter.

The proposed Lower Malwathu Oya reservoir is to be constructed near the Tantirimale sacred city by erecting a huge 3.5-kilometre-long dam across the Malwathu Oya river flowing through Anuradhapura and Horowpothana to the Mannar sea. The capacity of the reservoir is estimated to be 169,000 acre-feet and will be the largest reservoir in the Anuradhapura District once it is complete. The cost estimated for the project in 2016 was Rs.16 billion.

According to Ven. Chandrarathana Nayake Thera, who pioneered to realize the reservoir dream associated with farmers in Tantirimale and its surrounding areas, told the Daily News that around 5,000 acres would receive adequate irrigation water in the Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya, and Oyamaduwa areas, including a ‘lift irrigation system’ under the reservoir.

Moreover, the major tanks in the Mannar District, including the Akathimuruppu and Viyadikulam tanks, will receive additional water to help irrigation activities under the Yala and Maha seasons, he said.

It is planned to develop the Tantirimale sacred city while a new and modern township is emerging close to it to become a leading tourist destination, along with the Wilpattu National Park, which is located nearby, the Nayake Thera added.

“We are happy that already, the proposed Lower Malwathu Oya Reservoir Project has been published in the Gazette as a prioritized development scheme under the Irrigation Ministry under the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa,” Ven. Chandrarathana Nayake Thera added.


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