Rajangane farmers request compensation

The Rajanganaya Reservoir Drinking Water Project is at a standstill due to several issues.

Five farmers who were injured during the recent clash between the Thambuttegama Police and Rajangane farmers had lodged complaints at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) against the Police, requesting compensation, Rajanganaya Joint Farmers’ Association Chairman Nihal Wanniarachchi said.

Wanniarachchi told the Daily News that the association had submitted a memorandum to President Maithripala Sirisena to intervene and stop the move to use the Rajanganaya reservoir as the water source to run the proposed China-funded drinking water project being implemented by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board.

“The Rajanganaya reservoir caters to the cultivation of around 23,000 acres coming under the Rajangane colonisation scheme—a land area that 35,000 farmer families depend on to make ends-meet.

We protest against the proposal to pump water from the reservoir. The move would damage the tank and agricultural activities,” he added.

“We suggested to Irrigation Minister Duminda Dissanayake, that surplus water from the Neelabemma Irrigation Project could be used for the Rajanganaya Project.

Around 400,000 to 700,000 acre-feet of water is wasted from Rajanganaya tank annually which flows through the Neelabemma irrigation scheme to join the sea at Gange Wadiya in the area near the Wilpattu National Park,” Wanniarachchi said.

He added that new reservoir could be built along the same lines of the ongoing Lower Malwathu Oya Reservoir Project.

There is a possibility to construct a new reservoir between Wilpattu and the Neelabemma scheme to acquire the required water for the proposed water project instead of using the Rajanganaya tank. 

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