Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday declared open the country’s largest multi-functional irrigation project in Moragahakanda ending the water problems faced by the farmers in North Central Province.
The Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Irrigation Development Project, which is considered as the 21st century’s irrigational wonder of Sri Lanka was officially handed over to the Government of Sri Lanka by the Sinohydro China construction company. The Charge d’Affaires of the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka Pang Chunxue handed over the document in this regard to the President.
The President along with the Prime Minister unveiled the commemorative plaque and subsequently opened the spill gates of the reservoir, designed and constructed by PowerChina.
In parallel to this event, works of the 25-megawatt Moragahakanda Hydroelectric Power Station also commenced.
The President and Prime Minister were accompanied by Speaker of Parliament Karu Jayasuriya, Sri Lankan government ministers, officials from the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka and foreign dignitaries.
Moragahakanda – Kalu Ganga Irrigation project, the biggest multi-functional irrigation project was inaugurated in January 2007, when President Sirisena was the Irrigation and Mahaweli Development Minister. However, the project was delayed as a result of not receiving proper state sponsorship during the previous government and the President after he was elected to the office in 08 January 2015 accelerated this development project.
With the completion of Moragahakanda reservoir, the ‘Five Mega Reservoirs’ under Mahaweli program concluded after four decades since Mahaweli water was first diverted to Rajarata from Polgolla on January 08, 1976. Water from Moragahakanda reservoir, will be primarily used to support agricultural needs in an area of more than 300,000 acres, benefiting 1.5 million families as well as supplying clean drinking water to 300,000 families.
The Moragahakanda Dam is a high gravity dam with a height of 65 meters. The dam has created the Moragahakanda Reservoir, which has an active storage capacity of 521,000,000 cubic meters, and is four times bigger than the gigantic Parakrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa.
Under the Moragahakanda – Kalu Ganga development project water will be supplied to 2,000 tanks in the North Central, North Western and Eastern Provinces. Accordingly, 303 tanks in the North Western province and 1600 tanks in the North Central Province will be supplied with water. Another 48 new tanks will be constructed in new colonies of the Laggala new town and Medirigiriya.
At present resettlement process, for 3,500 families in Naula and Laggala Divisional Secretariats displaced due to the project, is being accomplishing and compensation is given for property loss is in progress. The expected average annual inland fish production potential of the reservoir is estimated to be around 3,000 tonnes, representing a net benefit of Rs. 225 million annually.
The annual rainfall for the area of the Moragahakanda reservoir is 818 million cubic meters and as a result of blocking that water flowing to the sea, will minimize the flooding of Manampitiya and Somawathiya areas. The benefits reaped by the entire nation due to the implementation of the Moragahakanda – Kalu Ganga development project are immense and the project will provide direct economic benefits for the thousands of farmer families living in three provinces.