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Government to inaugurate much delayed Uma Oya project this month 

April 12, Colombo (LNW): The 120 MW hydro power plant of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development project is to become operational soon amidst allegations of a loss of Rs 200 million due to delaying the project 

Due to the delay of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project, there has been a loss of nearly 200 billion rupees, the State Minister of Power and Energy Indika Anuruddha said adding that the planned expenditure for this project in 2010 was US$ 529 million.

Cabinet approved the project in 2008.Work on the project started on March 15, 2010.However, the project was supposed to be completed in 2015.

The project has been completed and the State Minister of Power and Energy Indika Anuruddha says that the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project will be vested in the people on the 24th or 25th of this month.

These activities were carried out with the support of the Iranian government.The President of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisolsadati commonly known as Ebrahim Raisi is expected to vist Sri Lanka to declare open the project  

It will be one of the largest hydro power plants in the country after the Victoria, Kotmale and Upper-Kotmale power stations and will provide Sri Lanka with a badly needed source of low-cost electricity. 

The construction of this project to divert water from the central highlands to the south-eastern dry zone commenced in March 2010. 

The two main political parties that have ruled the country since 1948 have made their contributions to the development of the existing infrastructure of the country over several decades. 

However, the Uma Oya project is the only major infrastructure project to which even the anti-establishment Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has contributed positively.

 The diversion of the Uma Oya was first mooted in 1959 in a study carried out by the United States Operations Mission and the Canadian Hunting Survey Corporation. 

It also featured in the UNDP/FAO Master Plan for the Mahaweli project during the Dudley Senanayake Government and was the subject of further studies carried out under the Ranasinghe Premadasa and Chandrika Kumaratunga governments.

 The decision to implement the Uma Oya project was taken when. Karu Jayasuriya and Jayawickrema Perera held the ministerial portfolios of power and energy and irrigation during the UNP government of 2001-2004.

Yet in January 2005, it was the present leader of the JVP as the then Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Land and Irrigation Anura Kumara Dissanyake who obtained Cabinet approval to commence the Uma Oya project.although he  criticised it earlier claiming that it was Mahinda Rajapksa project to divert water to Hambnatota.  

His Cabinet Paper No: 05/0036/039/002 of 4 January 2005 stated among other things that in the absence of a reliable source of water in the south east dry zone in Sri Lanka, there is no alternative but to divert water from Uma Oya to that area. Former Minister Chamal Rajapaksa played a key role in getting this project off the ground.

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