Aug 25, Colombo: The construction of the Lower Malwathu Oya Thanthirimale Reservoir, the third largest reservoir in Sri Lanka, commenced today under the patronage of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The construction of the reservoir will be implemented as a completely eco-friendly project and in a manner not to cause any harm on the Wilpattu Wildlife Zone.
The villages that will be submerged during the construction of the lower Malwathu Oya reservoir will be rebuilt in Thanthirimale.
The government has decided to expedite the program implemented to pay compensation for the lands and properties that will submerge under the reservoir. Allocation of alternate land to the owners and construction of houses will commence this year.
Along with the Malwathu Oya project, Thanthirimale town will also be developed as a tourist zone. In addition, a fresh water fishing village and several factories to provide employment will be established in Thanthirimale.
The construction of the Lower Malwathu Oya Reservoir will provide many benefits to the farmers in the Anuradhapura and Mannar Districts.
Once the proposed lower Malwathu Oya reservoir project is completed by 2022, paddy cultivation in the Mannar district, which is limited to only one cultivation season at present, would be extended to both Yala and Maha seasons. It is expected to create 2000 acres of new irrigable lands for paddy cultivation.
Apart from that, water for irrigation would be provided to nearly 20 small tanks in Thanthirimale and neighboring villages to cultivate around 3,000-4,000 acres in the two harvest seasons.
In addition the project will provide 5 million cubic meters of drinking water for the people of Anuradhapura and Mannar districts and produce 4.28 GWH Hydro power energy annually.
The Reservoir will hold 170,000 acre feet of water. The estimated cost for the project is Rs. 12 billion.