The commissioning of Sri Lanka’s largest multi-functional irrigation project, the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Multi-Purpose Development Project, will take place today.
A national ceremony has been organised on 8 January to mark the landmark occasion with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe attending as Chief Guests.
The President will release water from the Moragahakanda reservoir at the auspicious time of 11.20 a.m. to mark the completion of the project which commenced on 25 January 2007.
The project was expedited in the last three years under the guidance of the President.
The event will be followed by another ceremony at Polgolla, Kandy at 3.30 p.m. which will see the participation of the President and the Prime Minister to mark the completion of the Mahaweli Development Programme.
The 660,000 acre-feet Moragahakanda Reservoir, constructed across the Amban River, a tributary of the Mahaweli River, 2 km upstream of the weir at Elahera - is the last reservoir of the Mahaweli Development Project.
The Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Project will provide irrigation facilities to 81,422 hectares in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, provide a potable and industrial water supply to Anuradhapura and Trincomalee towns and generate electricity through hydropower while opening up 5,000 hectares of new land for agriculture development in the Northern, North Central, Eastern and North Western provinces.
Water will be supplied to more than 2,000 large and small tanks in the North-Central, North Western and Eastern provinces. The first phase of the project is to be opened on Monday and construction work on the Kalu Ganga dam is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Under the second stage measures will be taken to provide water to the Anuradhapura District in 2021. Under the third stage water will be provided to Iranamadu town.
The project will also generate 25 MW in hydropower to the national grid. The other objectives of the project are to increase inland fish production, provide potable and industrial water requirements, enable ecotourism and ensure effective flood control.