Rajanganaya farmers to petition Supreme Court | Sunday Observer

Rajanganaya farmers to petition Supreme Court

Farmers from Rajanganaya will petition Supreme Court the against the infringement of their Fundamental Rights by the ongoing and much opposed Rajanganaya water supply project.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Terrence Gamini President of the Saliyawewa Rajanganaya Farmers’ Association said this decision has been made on the premise that the Rajanganaya tank was constructed with the intention to provide water for farming in the Rajanganaya project which commenced in 1966.

“Our fathers were brought in from various areas in the country to this once barren land with the intention of creating an agri revolution,” he said adding that the reservoir was constructed to provide water for the purpose.

“Providing water for a potable water project defeats this purpose,” he said adding that therefore they will seek a stay order on the project. Farmers say the project is a matter of great concern due to the constant low water levels of the tank throughout the year as it may leave them without the necessary amounts of water needed for farming.

The water supply scheme passed by the Cabinet in 2011, once implemented is expected to provide water to 42 Grama Seva Divisions in Thambuttegama, Galnewa and Thalawa in the Anuradhapura District.

However, Chairman, Water Supply and Drainage Board, K. A Ansar has repeatedly said the farmer’s fears are unfounded. While authorities have ensured that water will not be drawn from the tank if water levels are low, farmers say they believe providing water for drinking will be given priority over farming prompting them to take legal action against it.

The scheme will draw 13-acre-feet daily from the reservoir which has a capacity of 86,000 acre-feet. Annually around 35,000-acre-feet will be utilized for the project. The water supply scheme is in line with government policy to provide pipe-borne clean drinking water to the North Central Province by 2020.