Oct 05, Colombo: President Maithripala Sirisena has given instructions to expedite the project to divert Gin and Nilwala Rivers in the South.
The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) says that the President has advised the relevant state institutions to provide necessary assistance to the Irrigation Department to proceed with the project.
Already the GSMB has implemented the basic environmental studies and geo-observation activities of the Nilwala River Diversion Project with the aim to minimize the environmental problems that may arise due to the project.
The main goal of the multi sector development project is to minimize the damage to the environment and properties when the river floods during the rainy season and to provide drinking and irrigational water to the Hambanthota district.
In addition to provision of drinking and irrigational water, the project aims to improve existing irrigation systems, introduce commercial agriculture development and provide industrial water requirement of Greater Hambantota proposed industrial development area.
Three tunnels will be constructed to take the water to Hambanthota and the water from three reservoirs at Muruthawela, Urubokka Oya (Udukiriwela), and Kirama Oya will be used to improve agriculture. In addition, water supply will also be provided to the Hambantota harbor.
The total project cost is USD 690 million and relevant agreement has been signed with China CAMCE Engineering Co. Ltd to enter into an Engineering Procumbent and Construction (EPC) contract.