Jan 26, Colombo: After an inspection tour of the multi-purpose Moragahakanda Irrigation Project Monday, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena expressed satisfaction at the progress in the construction of country’s largest irrigation system and assured that it will be completed as scheduled.
Moragahakanda Irrigation project, one of the largest irrigation projects in the country was inaugurated in January 2007, when President Sirisena was the Irrigation and Mahaweli Development Minister.
Addressing the gathering after the observation tour, the President said it is a fulfillment of an expectation of the people in North-Central Province. He assured that when the project is successfully completed the water required for the farmers in North-Central Province for their farming activities will be provided from the Moragahakanda irrigation system. Recalling that he laid the foundation for the project in 2007 as the Minister of Mahaweli Development, he said funds for the project were not given for a period of five and half years.
He also held discussion with the project engineers, officials and all other resource personnel at the site. The Chinese Ambassador also joined the occasion.
The largest reservoir project under the Mahaweli River Development Program was launched to provide a domestic and industrial water supply to Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, and Polonnaruwa and Matale districts for the development of agriculture in the north, east, and northwestern provinces.
The 65-meter high Moragahakanda Dam, which is under construction, will create the Moragahakanda Reservoir, which will have an active storage capacity of 521 million cubic meters of water at a surface elevation of 185 meters.
When completed the project will provide irrigation facilities to 81,422 hectares in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, provide potable and industrial water supply to Anuradhapura and Trincomalee towns and generate electricity by hydropower.
Furthermore, it will add 25 megawatts to the national grid. The project will also help to control the floods which occur in the low lying areas of Polonnaruwa district during the rainy season.
The previous government of Mahinda Rajapaksa signed a US$ 382 million deal with China’s Sinohydro Corporation in June 2012, to undertake the construction work of the project. The government has allocated 40 billion rupees for the project. It is expected to be completed in July 2016.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)