With remedial action in force in Uva:
Water Scarcity, a thing of the past
The Uva province being an agricultural region, with vast extents of
agricultural land and tea plantations, the UPFA Government, under its
major development programs, focussed on providing irrigation and
agriculture-based infrastructure to promote agriculture and export tea.
This objective has been achieved to a great extent with several
irrigation projects already completed and two major projects nearing
Infrastructure facilities are almost complete with road networks
connecting interior agricultural and plantation areas. Agricultural and
infrastructure projects were launched by the line ministries of the
Central government and the Provincial Council administration.
Two of the major ongoing irrigation projects are the Rs. 76,316
million Iran-funded Uma Oya Multipurpose Project in Moneragala and the
Rs. 1700 mn Morana Irrigation Reservoir Project in Ridimaliyadda
Division in the Mahiyangana Divisional Secretariat area. The Uma Oya
project tops the list of all mega development projects launched by the
UPFA Government for accelerated development of the province. These two
projects and other smaller projects that have already been implemented
would hugely contribute to increased agricultural productivity while
uplifting socio--economic welfare of the agricultural communities in
particular and other communities in general, authoritative government
Farmers constantly experienced water scarcity for cultivation in the
province and the below-poverty-line average remained markedly higher
compared to other provinces but this situation is fast changing
consequent to the development programs launched by the government, the
The Uma Oya project will address the problem of drought, annually
experienced by farmers of Moneragala and some parts of the Southern
province while providing clean drinking water, benefiting a large number
of agricultural and others families in the project areas, Project
Director Dr.Eng. N.S.K.N. de Silva told the Sunday Observer.
Development of livestock and inland fisheries, increase in water
spread area and improvement in the ground water table, employment
opportunities to several thousands of skilled and unskilled persons and
knowledge transfer of modern technology are other benefits to the local
communities under the project, he said.
Water will be supplied to the National Water Supply and Drainage
Board from the Puhulpola reservoir to provide drinking water to the
people of Attampitiya and its neighbourhood before diversion of water
under the project , the Project Director said.
In a similar manner water will be supplied to Bandarawela and its
neighbourhood from the Dyrabah dam and to Ambegama and its neighbourhood
from the Kuda Oya reservoir, he said. After diversion water will be
supplied from the Lunugamvehera reservoir to Tissamaharama and its
environs, he said. The project is expected to generate 120 MW power at
low cost, considerably offsetting the production cost of power. Another
important feature of the project is that the headrace tunnel is 15.65 km
long , the longest ever to be constructed under any major hydro power or
reservoirs project in the country, the Project Director said.
The Morana Irrigation Reservoir Project , by damming the Ulhitiya Oya
at Morana, converges into supplying irrigable water using a canal on the
left bank, where the main purpose of the canal is to transfer water to
the Rotagala tank in the Nagadeepa scheme while supplying water to the
irrigable lands along selected stretches both sides of the canal which
will be newly developed, Project Director Eng.Nelson Jyatillake said.
The objective is to provide water for cultivation of the total 2500
acres of paddy lands to achieve an increased cropping intensity and
production, he said. The other objectives of the project are 1)
providing water for the Nagadeepa scheme which is experiencing
continuous water shortages at the tail ends of the irrigable areas, with
the introduction of a canal to the Rotagala tank by trapping the water
in the Morana reservoir, 2) providing an assured supply of water for the
farmers in the area for agricultural activities - paddy in "Maha" and
other field crops (OFC) in "Yala"seasons, 3) improved water management
and drainage facilities, 4) the provision of a new access road, 5)
improved access facility through the construction of an access road to
villagers and farmers, 6) inducing farmer organisation development , and
6) increased water availability for wildlife.
To supplement the infrastructure facilities in the Badulla city area,
projects for constructing seven bridges will be launched today under the
auspices of Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal
Siripala De Silva, Coordinating Secretary, Badulla Gunapala
Illayapperuma said. The seven bridges are the Aluthkelagam Aluth Ela
bridge, the Katapellagama bridge, the Madiviya bridge, the
Peelipottagama bridge, the Hangwella Doopotha bridge and the Medapatana
bridge, he said. The Milagastenne bridge at a cost of Rs.200 mn in
Station Road, Badulla will be commissioned soon while Minister De Silva
will lay the foundation stone for the Hegoda bridge today, he said.
Three other bridges in the Badulla Pradeshiya Sabha areas are also
under construction at a cost of Rs. 60 mn, Illayapperuma said. They are
the Dambagoda Galagedera bridge, the Telbedde Storewatte bridge and the
Kirimalgoda Medamankada bridge, he said.
Under the Uva Provincial Council road development programs the
construction of the
Kottagoda-Bodumuilla-Adiyarawatta-Maspanna-Yalagamuwa road is nearing
completion at a cost of Rs.996 Mn, according to details provided by the
Uva Governor's Media Secretary, M.B. Chandrapala.
Ninety percent work on the construction of the
Muppanna-Wedikumbura-Yalagamuwa road at a cost of Rs. 591 mn is
completed. The construction of the Hulanduwa Left Kahambana road at a
cost of Rs.847 mn and the Medihale-Pathanawatta-Thennapanguwa -Kiriwehera
road at a cost of Rs. 713 mn are also nearing completion, according to
Construction of irrigation canals and tank bunds at a cost of Rs. 5.8
mn and other minor infrastructure development works were also completed
in the recent past under the PC development programs, the sources said.