A new Irrigation Act will be presented to Parliament to help expedite irrigation projects expedite, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Zoysa said.
The Minister also said that there was no strong laws passed to protect the thousands of irrigation projects in the country and this Act would fill the void. The Minister also said that he has presented five Cabinet Papers to develop five reservoirs in the country. He also said that they have been presented to the economic committee and added that money is being sought to implement these projects and some sections have agreed to provide funds under public private partnership too.
He said that these water projects are the Gin-Nilwala Water Project, Heda Oya project, Kumbukkan Oya project, Pahala Malwathu Oya Water Project and the Kithul Rogala water project in Batticaloa.
Minister Zoysa said that during the previous regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa failed to implement the Kumbukkan Oya project, but the incumbent government has been able to do it. He added that the same project would irrigate 13,000 acres.
“After the era of the Sinhalese kings it was the Maithri-Ranil era which brought a revival of the country’s irrigation system,” Minister Zoysa said.
He said that the Irrigation Department and Water Resources Board cleaned all the wells in the Kelany Valley after the flood. He added that the same institutions are providing pure drinking water to the Shalawa area after the explosion there.
The Minister also said that the Water Resources Board has been made into a profit earning institution during the last two years.