President to commission Yan Oya reservoir in September | Daily News

President to commission Yan Oya reservoir in September

The Yan Oya reservoir project has now reached the final stage of construction and it is scheduled to be commissioned by President Maithripala Sirisena in September.

At present, the construction of the reservoir consisting of 149,000 acre feet has been completed and water filling has ended, according to Deputy Project Director Palitha Wickramathilake.

He said now the construction of the left bank and south bank main canals, 18.9 and 12 km long, is in progress.

Wickramathilake said arrangements are being made to issue the first water turn under the Yan Oya reservoir project to Malporuwa tank for the forthcoming Yala cultivation season to irrigate 280 acres.

He said there were six more tanks along the south bank canal. “In addition, we have now opened the reservoir’s gates for releasing water,” Wickramathilake added.

Meanwhile, farmer families whose paddy lands were acquired to accommodate the Yan Oya reservoir project left bank main canal, which runs up to Padaviya and Jayanthi Wewa for 18.9 kilometers, are demanding for compensation or alternate lands to carry out their livelihood ventures.

They have not even been paid the cultivation season’s deprivation compensation at the revised rate of Rs. 50,000 per acre so far. Due to the objections of villagers, the left bank canal Chinese construction contractors closed their worksites and the canal construction is at a standstill. It is learnt that 318 land blocks have been acquired under the canal construction project. Regarding the main compensation issue concerning the Yan Oya reservoir, Deputy Project Director Palitha Wickramathilake said Rs. 5,000 million is required to pay compensation to farmers whose lands were submerged to the reservoir. So far, only Rs. 150 million has been paid and the Valuation Department is to send compensation files to the project management to execute payment.

“We have paid the kanna deprivation compensation for the last Maha season amounting to Rs. 54 million. In addition, each family, whose land was acquired, are paid Rs. 8,000 maximum as a monthly support allowance. “There are 600 families eligible for this allowance. We are waiting until compensation files and allocations are sent to us to provide redress to aggrieved farmers,” the Deputy Project Director said. He added that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will participate in an observation tour on March 20 of the Yan Oya project site where he would review and address issues pertaining to the project.


 

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