Mar 02, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Friday launched the program to renovate 2400 irrigation tanks aiming to recreate the ancient irrigation development in the country to emerge as a self-sufficient nation.
Under the program, old irrigation tanks, which were not renovated for a long period of time, in the North, East, North Western and North Central provinces will be renovated. In the first phase 123 irrigation tanks in the Polonnaruwa district are slated to be developed.
The renovation works of the 'Chandana Pokuna' tank in Hingurakgoda area was commenced under the patronage of the President today (02) as the first irrigation tank of this program.
This lake provides water to cultivate thousands of acres of land since the time of ancient kings. The 'Chandana Pokuna' reservoir which has a gross water capacity of 800 acre/feet provides its benefits to 300 farming families in the area.
These renovations works carried out with the support of Sri Lanka Army under the "Pibidemu Polonnaruwa (Awakening of Polonnaruwa)" District Development Project.
Addressing the ceremony the President said that the objective of this program is to strengthen the economy of the farmer community as well as to strengthen the national economy of the country by giving a new impetus for the field of agriculture and food production.
The President pointed out that under the previous government too this kind of projects were implemented, but as a result of not implementing under proper plans those programs were ended up with disappointment. He further said that it is the responsibility of everybody to contribute to achieve success in this program to give a better living standard for the farming community in the country.
The renovation activities of the 'Chandana Pokuna' was estimated to be around Rs. 16 million. However, later it was decided to carry out renovation with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army with an expenditure of around Rs. 2.5 million.
Public representatives of the area, including Polonnaruwa District Secretary Ranjith Ariyarathna, director of Pibidemu Polonnaruwa development project, major general Sudantha Ranasinghe and others joined this event.
The President also handed over the new two-storied class room building to the students of Dimbulagala Medagama Maha Vidyalaya and a three-storied building to the students of Manampitiya Tamil College.
The buildings have been constructed under the 'Pibidemu Polonnaruwa program.