President to open Kaluganga reservoir sluice gates next month | Sunday Observer

President to open Kaluganga reservoir sluice gates next month

President Maithripala Sirisena who opened the sluice gates of the Moragahakanda reservoir on November 30, will also open the Kaluganga reservoir, the second of the twin reservoir Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Multi-Purpose Project, next month.

This ceremony scheduled for January 9 will mark a golden era in the annals of irrigation and agriculture of the country, Project Director D.B. Wijeratne told the Sunday Observer. The President last week also opened the largest irrigation project for the North, the Iranamadu project.

A new township in Luggala is coming up in the vicinity of the Moragahakanda and Kuluganga reservoirs with an initial population of 3000 families, consisting 15,000 persons, who are displaced from the tank beds of the project, he said. Twenty government institutions, including the Divisional Secretariat, will be set up in the new township, he said. The displaced families have been paid Rs.9,000 million as compensation for the losses that they had sustained, including inundation of houses, lands and other properties. Each family will get a homestead plot and 1-1/2 acres of paddy land, he said.

The ambitious Moragahakanda-Kalugana project which is the dream of the President will immensely benefit not only farmers of the North-Central province but also the Northern province, irrigation authorities said.

President Sirisena opened the sluice gates of the Iranamadu tank on the invitation of Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray and consequently it was handed over to the Irrigation Department of Kilinochchi and the Federation of Farmers’ Associations. The augmentation project of the Iranamadu reservoir to increase the reservoir’s water capacity from 131 MCM to 148 MCM and raising the water level from 34 feet to 36 feet was completed under funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) while the canal rehabilitation project costing Rs.3,200 million was completed under funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), irrigation authorities said.

About 9,000 farmers will benefit from the project and over 21,000 acres will be brought under paddy cultivation throughout the year, Deputy Director of Irrigation for Kilinochchi Engr.N.Suthgaran told the Sunday Observer. The feasibility study on transferring water from the Moragahakanda-Kaluganga project to the Iranamadu tank is also being conducted. 

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