The Rs. 2,290 million Thanthirimale Reservoir Project, the third largest reservoir in Sri Lanka, launched on Friday, August 25, opens cultivation opportunity through both seasons for many northern farmers for the first time in a long time.
“So far the farmers in this Northern region have been farming for only one season every year and this project enables them to farm through both seasons,” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister P. Harrison, several MPs of ACMC, farmers of the region and other participants joined the launch of Reservoir Project.
“This is a victory for farmers in this area and it strengthens them economically and agriculturally. Also water shortages faced by people in these areas, including Mannar, are solved by this project. We are very happy to witness the launch of this historic project which will supply water to Anuradhapura, Mannar and Vavuniya Districts,” Minister Bathiudeen said.
Many previous governments tried to commence this project but it is this government that finally managed to launch it at a cost of Rs 2,290 million. The continued efforts of P. Harrison, Minister of Agriculture, finally resulted in the project launch.
Twelve per cent of total sown acres of paddy in Sri Lanka (in Maha season, under all schemes) are in the Districts of Anuradhapura, Mannar and Vavuniya. Once the Thanthirimale project is completed, it is expected to irrigate 30,680 acres of paddy lands in these three Districts. 50,000 families in these Districts will receive water supplies. Seven irrigation lakes in these three Districts will be filled by the new reservoir. Floods in Mannar District are expected to be tamed while Thanthirimale is to be shaped as an Economic Centre for North.