ECONOMYNEXT – China’s Sinohydro Corporation Limited has won a Rs6.1 billion contract to build the Upper Elahera canal to transfer water for irrigation from a major river to a storage tank.
The design and build contract is for the transfer canal comprising of two tunnels 8km in length from the Kalu Ganga river tank to Moragahakanda tank, the open canal way, aqueducts and the associated structures.
The project is under the Mahaweli Water Security Investment Programme under President Maithripala Sirisena, in his capacity as the Minister of Mahaweli Development and Environment.
The Chinese contractor Sinohydro had earlier won a US$ 250 million contract to build the headworks for the 521 million m3 Moragahakanda reservoir.
The projects are part of the government’s Mahaweli River Development Programme, a multipurpose development consisting of five dams at Kotmale, Victoria, Randenigala-Rantambe, Maduru Oya and Moragahakanda, and the installation of 600 MW of hydroelectric capacity.
The Moragahakanda reservoir provides irrigation water facilities to 81,422 ha, and has 20 MW of hydroelectric capacity.
Upper Elahera Canal Project has two components. The first component is the construction of the Kalu Ganga-Moragahakanda Transfer Canal, including two tunnels, that will transfer water between the Kalu Ganga and Moragahakanda reservoirs.
The second component is the construction of the Upper Elahera Canal that connects the Moragahakanda reservoir to the existing reservoirs at Huruluwewa, Manankattiya, Eruwewa and Mahakanadarawa which feed existing irrigation and water supply schemes.
The project will enable agricultural lands to be cultivated in both Yala and Maha seasons without interruption of water supplies and also improve access to safe drinking.
(COLOMBO, March 13, 2018)