|NEWS IN DETAIL|
|Sri Lanka’s largest reservoir of the multipurpose Mahaweli Project at Moragahakanda was commissioned by President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday.|
The project will irrigate parched dry lands in Vanni in the Northern Province on one side and Rajarata, Wayamba, Central and Eastern Provinces on the other.
With the commissioning of Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga reservoir of the Kalu Ganga Dam, an increase of 64,000,000 cubic metres of water will flow from the reservoir to far flung regions including, the Vanni, Matale, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, and Polonnaruwa.
The Moragahakanda Dam is a high gravity dam with a height of 65 meters. The dam has created the Moragahakanda Reservoir, which has an active storage capacity of 521,000,000 cubic meters, and is four times bigger than the gigantic Parakrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa.
Two additional embankment saddle dams have been built to contain the Moragahakanda Reservoir. The reservoir of the Kalu Ganga Dam has been linked via a tunnel.
Water from both, the Moragahakanda and Kalu Ganga reservoirs, will be primarily used to support agricultural needs in an area of at least 81,422 hectares. This would increase rice production by 81% or 109,000 tons, amounting to an estimated monetary benefit of US$1.67 million, annually.
In addition to the irrigation of land, water from the Moragahakanda Reservoir will be used to power the 25-megawatt Moragahakanda Hydroelectric Power Station.
Prior to Moragahakanda, all other projects under the Mahaweli have been completed.
They include the Victoria Dam, located across the Mahaweli Ganga immediately upstream of the Victoria Falls rapids about 130 miles from the river mouth; the Randenigala Project, the fourth major multi-purpose project and the largest reservoir under the Accelerated Mahaweli Development Program; the Rantambe Dam and power station form the most downstream project of a cascade of reservoirs and hydro power stations on the Mahaweli Ganga in the Dumbara Valley; the Polgolla project, which carried water resources of the Mahaweli Ganga Basin; the Kotmale project, which is one of five major head works projects undertaken under the Accelerated Mahaweli Ganga scheme; and the Bowatenne Diversion Project, which lies in the northern part of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)