May 16, Colombo: Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera has instructed to restore and rehabilitate 1500 reservoirs in the dry zone this year at a cost of Rs. 1 billion.
The Department of Agrarian Development has briefed the Minister that there are 2,055 tanks and 1,578 anicuts that have been dilapidated due to lack of proper maintenance in many areas of the country including the dry zone.
Since many areas of the country do not receive adequate rainfall during growing season, Minister Amaraweera has instructed the Department of Agrarian Development to take measures to restore all the tanks that are broken down in this year and next year so that rain water can be stored in order to provide the water required for cultivations.
The rehabilitation and reconstruction works of 1,500 decrepit reservoirs will be carried out in 2018 and the amount expected to be spent for the project is Rs. 1 billion.
The Minister has pointed out that since many tanks in the country have been covered with invasive aquatic weeds such as water hyacinth (Japan Jabara), Salvenia etc., these tanks have been unable to properly retain their water capacity.
Therefore, the Minister has instructed the Department of Agrarian Development to purchase 10 aquatic weed harvesters to clean up reservoirs.
The Minister emphasized that these machineries should be provided at least once in each province and steps will be taken to restore the tanks.