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Sunday, 6 April 2014

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The beauty that is Moussakelle

The water level of the Moussakelle Reservoir has decreased significantly while ruins of the old town which were submerged when the reservoir was built, are visible.

Old places of worship are an attraction among visitors, especially pilgrims en route to Sri Pada.

Since the reservoir is at low spill level,the Moussakelle Sri Sumana Saman devala which was built and maintained by the Ceylon Electricity Board can be seen along the way and is well patronised.

The temple is located in front of the Moussakelle reservoir . During those days the water level of the Moussakelle reservoir was low due to the drought in that area. Due to lack of rain in the catchment areas of the reservoirs, hydropower generation had dropped causing heavy losses to the CEB which has to run the thermal power generators in full throttle to balance the demand.

The Moussakelle area is a wonderful sight when the waters are in full flow.Hydro power generation converts the potential energy of water to kinetic energy and finally to electric energy. This is a simple process but the civil engineering construction and investment are huge. In New Laxapana's long tunnel, various simple technologies have been used to control the huge water flow.

The surge shaft is used to reduce water pressure in the tunnel when the turbines are closed suddenly.

The surge shaft is similar to hummanaya or blowhole and when the water to the turbines is shut down the water pressure in the tunnel is released through the surge shaft.

It is a vertical tunnel of over 300 feet. Rocks and hard material that come with the water are removed through rock traps in the tunnel.

Rock traps are deep pits in the tunnel and there are three rock traps in the New Laxapana tunnel. With soil erosion and deforestation in the catchment areas, rock traps have to be cleaned more frequently. Sri Lanka has now used almost all the thermal power potential in the country and only mini and micro hydro projects are left. The country now needs to maintain the sustainability of these mega hydro projects.

All the catchment areas of the reservoirs are under threat. Deforestation, encroachment for residential or agriculture purposes is taking place.

Engineers said they face many difficulties in their bid to conserve forest land belonging to the CEB in the catchment areas.

-Internet

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The Moussakelle reservoir which is at low spill level exposed a fantastic array of religious sites - a temple, a mosque and a kovil in close proximity to one another. This just shows the unity that would have existed in this country in the days gone by.

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