Seventy five tanks to be renovated by govt. agencies

On the instructions of the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Irrigation Director General has launched a major tanks rehabilitation programme completely deviating from the traditional contracts system.

Seventy five major tanks coming under the Irrigation Department will be rehabilitated restored and renovated sans contractors under the Irrigation Prosperity Programme, using departmental staff and its own heavy machinery and equipment.

Irrigation Director (Water Management) Eng: Janaki Meegasthenna told the Daily News that the removal of sediment and clearing shrub jungle and weeds near the tanks, rehabilitation of dilapidated agriculture roads along with water flowing and flood protection dams, removal of unwanted aquatic plants like Japan Jabara, Salvinia etc. and attending to the urgent repairs as requested by the farmer organizations concerning the country’s major tanks network would be executed at district level having been initiated from Hambantota and Matara Districts.

“Under this work programme contracts will not be granted to the private sector. It is envisaged that work if given on the ongoing contractual basis would cost around Rs.500 million. But, this task could be completed at a cost of Rs.50 million if carried out by using the Irrigation Department staff, heavy machinery and equipment,” Eng: Meegasthenna said.

The cost to be incurred is only for fuel, machinery and equipment servicing, payment of overtime allowances and limited other allowances for the departmental work force detailed for the implementation of the particular development project under this Irrigational property development programme.

Anuradhapura District Irrigation Director Eng. Prasanna De Silva said that detailed reports highlighting the shortcomings in 13 major irrigation schemes in Anuradhapura were being prepared by Irrigation Engineers and Residential Project Managers having consulted the farmers under the programme as a prerequisite for work to begin.

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