Giant water supply project; costs over Rs. 5,000 m:
Nominal tariffs for consumers:
Quenching the thirst of Trinco residents
President Mahinda Rajapaksa reiterated the necessity to protect water
resources for the future generation.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa launches the project
Pix: Sudath Malaweera
The President said, as our ancestors had protected this valuable
resource, we benefit from it.
President Rajapaksa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony of
the Greater Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply Project. Addressing the
gathering after opening the Water Supply Project at the Kantale Water
Treatment Plant, he said nearly 43 percent of the people have safe
drinking water. Water is a valuable resource which should be protected.
Several countries are facing a shortage of water. There was an era when
people walked miles to collect water. In some countries still the people
go a long distance in search of drinking water.
"He was pleased to commission the giant water supply project which
has found a sustainable solution to drinking water problems to people in
the Trincomalee district. "Nobody appeared to solve this problem until
we launched the Greater Water Supply Project. During elections everyone
talked of water supply projects but none implemented it. They held long
discussions, but there was no productive outcome. We initiated the
project and completed it in a short period of two years" the President
said. "We have taken steps to save rain water for future use. I remember
there was an arrangement to sell our water resource, but we protected it
for the nation. As a result now we could implement mega water supply
projects like the Greater Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply Project.
This is the only Government which allocated a huge amount of money on
drinking water supply projects in the history of the country. Thus a
solution has been found to the drinking water problems of the rural
people, the President said.
He said nearly Rs. 5,000 million has been spent on the Greater
Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply Project, but only a nominal charge
will be imposed on consumers.
The President asked the beneficiaries to refrain from wasting water.
Every drop of water is valuable.
Up to now the Water Board has been using the Kantale reservoir water
to supply drinking water. Now it could use the Mahaweli Ganga water
obtained through giant tubes from Allai, Kantale nearly 22 kilometres
away from Kantale.
"Those days Pinthaliya was used to collect water. The villagers
filled the Pinthaliyas enthusiastically as providing water to quench
one's thirst is a meritorious deed", the President said.
The Greater Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply Project covers
Kantale, Trincomalee, Thambalagamuwa, Kinniya and a part of the
Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat Division. Almost 330,000 people will
benefit from the project.
The Mahinda Chinthana national development concept has stated that
all basic facilities will be provided to ensure the smooth livelihood of
the people. A large number of infrastructure and livelihood development
projects have been implemented in the Eastern Province, especially in
the Trincomalee district during the last few years, by the Government,
the President said.
Sri Lanka's longest bridge is in Kinniya, Trincomalee. Next is the
Verugal bridge, which is a milestone in the history of the country as it
connects the Trincomalee district with Batticaloa. Since the
construction of the bridge the people in both districts used the
Polonnaruwa-Habarana route to reach Trincomalee from Batticaloa and vice
a versa. The Irakkakandy and Salappai Aru bridges are the other
important bridges in the Trincomalee district.
The construction of the Salappai Aru bridges is progressing, and will
soon be commissioned to the public. President Rajapaksa ceremonially
opened the water supply project by unveiling the plaque with the
blessings of religious dignitaries.
Ministers and other distinguished invitees.
The Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardane, Deputy
Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa, Irrigation and Water Resources Management
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Eastern Province Governor Mohan
Wijewickrama, Eastern Province Chief Minister Najeeb A Majeed,
Government Agent (GA) Trincomalee Ranjith Silva, Deputy Economic
Development Minister Susantha Punchinilame, MP A.H.M. Azwer, Ambassador
of France to Sri Lanka Christine Robichon, officers from the Water
Supply and Drainage Ministry and Eastern Provincial Council members were
Deputy Minister Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs M.K.A.D.S.
Gunawardana, in his welcome speech said a large number of kidney
patients were identified in the Wan-Ela, Jayanthipura areas in Kantale
and some of them lost their lives. The Greater Trincomalee Integrated
Water Supply Project will help prevent people becoming victims to kidney
Deputy Minister Gunawardane expressed gratitude to President
Rajapaksa and Minister Dinesh Gunawardane for implementing such a major
water supply project for the people of Kantale, Thambalagamuwa,
Trincomalee, Kinniya and the Kuchchaveli Divisional Secretariat
The French Ambassador Christine Robichon during her speech said, the
French Government is ready to fund the Greater Matale Integrated Water
Supply Project. Almost 150,000 people who come under the project area
She said safe drinking water is essential for a healthy life and is a
fundamental human right. France plays an active role to implement this
"I am delighted to participate in the opening ceremony of the
rehabilitated Kantale water treatment plant which is part of the Greater
Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply Project. France has allocated Euro
23 million for the project channelled through the French Ministry of
Economic and Finance and the French Development Agency", Ambassador
Trincomalee and its surroundings, are currently supplied water
through a hydraulic scheme, namely the Trincomalee Integrated Water
Supply Scheme built in the early 1980s with funding from France.
The project commissioned by us today includes the rehabilitation of
the existing infrastructure and construction of new facilities which
will ensure the supply of water to 330,000 people in the Trincomalee
city, other towns and villages in the Trincomalee district, she said.
"The Greater Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply Project is also a
part of the Trincomalee integrated infrastructure development program
funded by the France Development Agency (FDA) through a concessional
loan of 69 million Euro. It focused on the reconstruction and the
rehabilitation of public infrastructure in the Trincomalee district such
as roads, bridges, water supply, electricity and community based
infrastructure development projects", Robichon said.
"France has a long time partnership with the Water Board. In 2005 we
completed a water supply project in Anuradhapura through a concessionary
loan scheme. This was further strengthened in 2011 by funding the
Jaffna-Kilinochchi water supply and sanitation project. It is a
co-financing project funded by the Sri Lanka Government, France and the
Asian Development Bank (ADB). Once the project is completed 300,000
people will benefit", the Ambassador said.
Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardane said the
Greater Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply Project was a concept of
He ensured the uninterrupted supply of pure drinking water to the
people in the Trincomalee town and other areas coming under the project.
Up to now they were supplied water for only a limited number of hours a
With the opening of the Greater Trincomalee Integrated Water Supply
Project a large number of villages in the project area will benefit.
Trincomalee is famous for its natural attractions and is bounded by
Anuradhapura, Batticaloa and the Mullaitivu districts.
The land area covered by the district is 272,880 square kilometres.
There are 11 Pradeshiya Sabhas and 2 Urban Councils in the district,
represented by 230 Grama Seva Divisions.
The area covered by water resources amounts to 98 square kilometres.
A majority of the population indulge in agriculture utilising 44 percent
of the land. The Forest covers 30 percent of lands in the district.
The Government with its international donors has incurred millions of
rupees to restructure and rehabilitate the region victimised by
terrorism. When the development projects are completed the North and the
East will be the gateway of development in the country.
The terrorism affected North and East are returning to normalcy. The
Trincomalee District which remained a ghost city has turned into a
The people who were denied their fundamental rights by the LTTE are
now leading a fear free life.
The Government has reached the peak of its development in the
Northern and Eastern provinces.
The Supply of a safe drinking water to the people takes prominence
over all development projects.
The Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage is engaged in the process
of providing safe drinking water to the masses of the country including
the North and East under the 'Mahinda Chinthanaya' national development
The Ministry will formulate a national policy on drinking water and
sanitation, implement awareness programs on the use of drinking water
produced at a high cost formulate laws, relevant to the fields of water
supply and sanitation and implement a national policy on Rain Water
Harvesting and make proper arrangements to reduce non-income generating
The Ministry targets to provide safe drinking water to 85 percent and
adequate sanitation facilities to 88 percent of the population by year