- Published on Saturday, 18 August 2012 08:30
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President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the construction work of the Rs. 21 Billion Yaan Oya project on Thursday. This massive multi-faceted project will be implemented 3 stages.
The President addressing a function held for initiating the project said although he was happy to inaugurate the project, it should have ideally begun 40 years back. He said that if it had been initiated at the time, the whole area coming under the project would have been a fertile land today. He said delays were also caused by terrorism which plagued the area for decades.
The President said since the government has vanquished the scourge of terrorism and paved the way for the people to live in peace without any fear, is now the government's obligation and priority to make their lives prosperous and contended.
The President said that although he is able to provide tanks and reservoirs, highways and hospitals, he is unable to provide rain. He said that the government's policy in respect of all affairs will continue to be guided by the vital interests and well- being of the people. This will not yield to any other consideration.
He assured continued progress in all spheres and emphasized that no one will be allowed to reverse the hard earned gains. Speaking on the prevailing drought, the President said that after conducting Wesi Pirith chanting to end it, several areas including Kotmale and Kandy which were facing an extended spell of drought had experienced heavy rains. He said that even the Mahanayaka Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter called him yesterday morning to convey his happiness about rain in Kandy immediately after the chanting of Pirith.
Commenting about irrigation developments, the President said that all provinces now possess at least one such project. He said that projects such as Yaan Oya will contribute to alleviate periodical sufferings being faced by farmers due to droughts and will provide drinking water requirements in the future. He assured the people that such irrigation schemes will not be built while causing difficulties to the people and added that all those who have lost property would be compensated.
The Yaan Oya project will be implemented under 3 stages. Under the first stage of the project which was started yesterday the main dam will be constructed across Yan Oya which flows to the sea from Pulmoddai. The Yan Oya reservoir is constructed by building a dam across Yan Oya which flows to the sea from Pulmoddai. The project will solve water problems in areas in the North Central Province and parts of the Eastern Province including Kebithigollewa, Padaviya, Welioya, Medawchchiya and Trincomalee.
The reservoir with a capacity of 254 million cubic metres is expected to provide water to 5,000 hectare and to benefit directly 12,000 farmer families affected by the drought throughout the year. The project which is to be completed in four years is expected to provide direct and indirect employment to 7,200 persons.
Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva and S M Chandrasena and former Chief Minister of North Central Province Berty Premalal Dissanayake also addressed the meeting. The North Central Governor Mr. Karunarathne Divulgane, several Ministers, Parliamentarians, provincial politicians also attended the function with a massive crowd. (niz)