Sri Lanka starts building 28km, U$244 million irrigation tunnel

IRRIGATION: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa unveils a plaque inaugurating a US$244mn irrigation tunnel while his brother, Irrigation Minister Chamal Rajapaksa looks on.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has kicked off the construction of a 28 kilometre long irrigation tunnel costing 244 million dollars with Asian Development Bank financing, that is claimed to be longest such in South Asia.

The tunnel is part of the Maha Ela project in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province which is the 6the and final phase of a long-running Mahaweli River development initiative, the President’s media office said.

The project involves diverting water from the Moragahakanda and Kalu Ganga reservoirs to the north central area (Rajarata) though a 65 kilometre canal to Yakalle.

The tunnel starts from Elahera, Konduruwewa and ends at Palugaswewa, Mahamigaswewa.

The irrigation tunnel is built to minimize environmental damage when passing through three sanctuaries.

“The President has instructed the relevant officials to complete the North Central Province Maha Ela project, which was earlier scheduled to be completed in six years, within the next four years, by 2025,” his office said.

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