Moragahakanda - Kaluganga waters to flow into
Northern farmers in for a bonanza
The ambitious and far-reaching Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Multipurpose
Development Project (MKDP) which began with the final objective of
diverting water to the Iranamadu tank in Kilinochchi and helping the
Northern farmers is expected to be completed before schedule, according
to project authorities.
tank remains dry most of the year
work now of the Moragahakanda and Kaluganga reservoirs now in
progress on an accelerated pace. Pix : Wimal Karunathillaka
Although waters from the MKDP was originally scheduled to reach
Iranamadu tank in 2022 it is most likely that it will be much ahead of
that in view of the accelerated pace of the project, the sources said.
The supply of water from Iranamadu to Jaffna and other areas of the
Northern province will be for both irrigation and drinking purposes.
The construction of the two major reservoirs, Moragahakanda and the
Kaluganga, is in progress and would be completed next year and the year
It would include rockfilling, RPC canal and power house construction.
Water filling to the Moragahakanda reservoir will be started in October
2016 during the monsoonal season and water filling to the Kaluganga will
be started in October 2017, according to the sources. The Moragahakanda
canal construction will be completed in 2017, the sources said.
The completion of the project in the next half-a-decade will mark a
very significant milestone under the Mahaveli development projects,
bringing thousands of acres of cultivable lands under the plough along
its long course to the North Central and the Northern provinces, while
also fulfilling the Northern people's long-felt need of water for
irrigation, drinking and domestic use.
The capacity of the two reservoirs is almost six times the size of
the Parakrama Samudra and it is second only to the Victoria Dam and
Hydro Power Project, according to project authorities.
The Iranamadu tank remains dry up most of the year with no water
available to the farmers who, consequently, incur losses. The total
investment is US $ 650 Mn.
Under the Moragahakanda and the Kaluganga reservoir construction
process and downstream construction of the canals about 2500 families
are getting displaced due to inundation of their places of residence, US
$ 125 Mn or more will have to be spent on the relocation/rehabilitation
of these families.
Construction of the Moragahakanda Reservoir has been undertaken with
funds raised from the China Development Bank and the world's leading
construction company, the Sinohydro Corporation of China, which is
entrusted with the construction work.
The construction of the Kaluganga Reservoir has been undertaken with
funding from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the
Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the OPEC Fund for International
Development (OFID). The local inputs are from the engineers of the
Irrigation Department which would save millions of rupees to the
The Kaluganga and the Morakahakanda reservoirs will be linked by a
tunnel about 9 kilometers (km) in length including 8 km of tunnelling.
The Hurulu Wewa reservoir in the North Central province will be
linked by the Upper Elahera canal. Kaluganga-Moragahakanda Transfer
Canal (KMTC) will convey up to 771 MCM of water annually between
Kaluganga and Moragahakanda Reservoirs.
The Upper Elahera Canal (UEC) will annually convey up to 974 MCM
northwards from Moragahakanda Reservoir, along a 70 km canal (including
about 20km of tunnels and 16 km of cut-cover conduits), to the existing
Huruluwewa and Mannakattiya Reservoirs, which feed existing irrigation
and water supply schemes.
At the final phase the water will be transferred to the
Kanagarayankulam tank and from there to the Iranamadu tank and will
eventually augment drinking water supplies to Jaffna and Kilinochchi.
The Iranamadu reservoir will get 100 MCM water annually. This, in
turn, will help towards further uplifting the socio-economic welfare of
the people of the North who have been ravaged by the nearly 30 years of
The Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Development project is to provide
irrigation for agriculture and water for domestic and industrial use in
Central, North central, Eastern, North and North Western provinces of
Sri Lanka. Generation of electricity by hydro power (25 MW), Development
of inland fisheries, promotion of eco tourism and flood control in lower
basins in the dry zone are other objectives that are to be fulfilled
under the project. At the initial stage, with the construction of
Moragahakanda and the Kaluganga reservoirs, it will become possible to
provide irrigation water facilities to 82, 000 ha of lands for both Yala
and Maha seasons and domestic and industrial water to Anuradhapura,
Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee and Matale districts.
Here about 5000 ha of new lands for agriculture will open up and
developed under the project.
The North Central Province canal (NCP canal) will successfully
irrigate 135,189 ha of new and prevailing agricultural lands for both
seasons in eight river basins at North and North Central Provinces.
To facilitate this activity 8 tanks have been planned to be construct
in eight river basins in the area.
Cropping intensity will be enhanced from 100% to 154% in the
Development Area. With the implementation of the project it will be
increased up to 181% on the average.
Direct benefits include increased rice yield per hectare with an
additional agricultural production of 123,000 tons annually. The net
annual agricultural benefits will be US $ 30.1 million in monitory
The average annual fish production potential of the reservoirs is
estimated to be around 4,700 tons per year, representing a net benefit
US $ 1.67 million annually.
The annual fuel cost savings with the hydro power production will be
around US $ 2.49 million on an annual average.