South Asia’s longest irrigation tunnel to be constructed in Palugaswewa | Daily News
“Wari Saubhagya” National Programme commences :

South Asia’s longest irrigation tunnel to be constructed in Palugaswewa

5000 tanks to be rehabilitated:
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa launching the “Wari Saubhagya” national programme in Palugaswewa in Anuradhapura yesterday. Ministers Chamal Rajapaksa and S.M. Chandrasena were also present. Picture courtesy President’s Media Division
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa launching the “Wari Saubhagya” national programme in Palugaswewa in Anuradhapura yesterday. Ministers Chamal Rajapaksa and S.M. Chandrasena were also present. Picture courtesy President’s Media Division

The construction of South Asia’s longest irrigation tunnel extending to 28 kilometres began in Palugaswewa in Anuradhapura with the participation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

This project marked the commencement of the “Wari Saubhagya” national programme to rehabilitate 5,000 tanks.

The programme was a fulfillment of a pledge in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ‘Saubhagyaye Dekma’ (Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour) policy statement.

The longest irrigation tunnel project comes under Phase 1 of the Main Canal Project of the North-Central Province. The Main Canal Project is the sixth and the last of the Mahaweli Development Projects.

The aim of the project is to supply water to ‘Rajarata’ from Moragahakanda and Kaluganga Reservoirs. It has been planned as an environmental friendly project.

The tunnel begins at Koduruwewa in Elahera and ends at Mahameegaswewa in Palugaswewa.

The President has instructed to expedite the construction work and complete it within four years, two years ahead of schedule. The project cost is estimated at US$ 244 million. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Sri Lankan Government jointly fund the project.Water scarcity has been a main reason for kidney disease and poverty among the people in the North Central, Northern and Eastern Provinces.

The President cut the first sod at the auspicious time amidst the Pirith chanting of the Maha Sangha.

Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa said the Government follows the advice of the ancient kings and makes the maximum use of rain water in harvesting. Lands Minister S.M. Chandrasena stated that the project will provide solutions to all irrigation related issues in the North Central region.

He added that the provision of Mahaweli water to the North Central Province through the Main Canal was a dream-come-true for the people in the area after 50 years.