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We must renovate existing tanks and resrvoirs: Vijith

Irrigation and Water Resources Minister Vijith Vijithamuni Soysa said at Sevanagala, it was people of Sri Lanka that utilized rainwater without waste during ancient times. But today, it is Thailand that collects water methodically.

The minster said so addressing a meeting at Sadarajamaha Vidyalaya at Kiribbanara in Sevanagala.

We must concentrate on renovating the existing tanks and reservoirs and setup new reservoirs and rain water-harvesting methods.

At the same time, major and minor irrigation complexes should be renovated and given a new lease of life. There is a sector of people who hold protest campaigns against these with the assistance of NGOs and other institutions, he added.

The minister said, when a reservoir is set up anew, several houses have to be relocated and animals and the environment suffer, but it has to be done by paying due compensation to the people who lose their dwellings.

He added that during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, he went to commence construction of the Kubukkanoya project, but there was a strong protest against it.

Certain MPs there said that if the Kubukkanoya project was implemented, seventy thousand square miles in the area will get inundated, the minister said.