Sri Lanka irrigation repair bill Rs5.0bn after floods

Feb 09, 2011 (LBO) – Rebuilding Sri Lanka’s irrigation infrastructure after recent record floods will cost 5.0 billion rupees (45 million US dollars) to the tax payer, with most of the damage taken by canals, officials said. The head of Sri Lanka’s irrigation department GGA Godaliyadda said systems coming under his agency which oversees 59 large reservoirs and 155 medium sized ones and 1,500 kilometres of main canals had suffered about 2.8 billion rupees of damage.

The systems under the Mahaweli river development agency which oversees 12 large reservoirs, 286 tanks and 346 kilometres of main canals had suffered about 158 million rupees of damage.

Smaller irrigation systems coming under the country agrarian services agency will need another 3.0 billion rupees, secretary of the irrigation ministry Ivan de Silva told reporters.

The Treasury which collects taxes from the people of Sri Lanka has agreed to give the estimated 5.0 billion rupees needed to make repairs.

Irrigation minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the country’s reservoir system, known as ‘tanks’ had record collections of water enough to irrigate three growing seasons.

Government agencies will make urgent repairs and clear blocked canals i