President, PM declared open Moragahakanda, biggest reservoir of Mahaweli


Jan 08, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s President and Prime Minister on Monday declared open Moragahakanda, the last but biggest reservoir of the multipurpose Mahaweli Project.

Moragahakanda will irrigate parched dry lands in faraway Vanni in the Northern Province on one side and Rajarata, Wayamba, Central and Eastern Provinces on the other.

Today also marks the 42nd anniversary of the commissioning of the first Mahaweli Project at Polgolla in the Central Province by the then PM, Sirimavo Bandaranaike on January 8, 1976.

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 percent or 109,000 tons, amounting to an estimated monetary benefit of 1.67 million US dollars, 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.

Initially, Japan was to fund the Moragahakanda Project. However, after the 1983 riots the project got delayed and finally on the request of the then Minister Maithripala Sirisena, China agreed to fund the project in 2007.

Families living in the Kalu Ganga Dam construction site were resettled about five kilometers away from their original homes, at the Guruwela resettlement area.

The families affected under the Moragahakanda reservoir were provided new lands in the Thorapitiya resettlement area and the Project has also paid special attention to minimize the impact on environment.

Prior to Moragahakanda, all other projects under the Mahaweli have been completed.