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Uma Oya Multipurpose Development project vests in the people on Wednesday 24

By: Staff Writer

April 23, Colombo (LNW): The stage is set to bestow the 120 MW hydro power plant of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development project to the people on Wednesday 24 amidst allegations of a loss of Rs 200 billion due to delaying the project.

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

Irrigation, Wildlife and Forestry Minister Pavitra Wanniarachchi announced that all arrangements have been finalised for the handover of the Uma Oya multi-purpose development project to the public on Wednesday.

Speaking to the media after inspecting the project site, Wanniarachchi expressed satisfaction with the progress and highlighted the significance of the project for the country.

Under the leadership of President Ranil Wickremesinghe and President of Iran Ibrahim Raisi, the project is set to be inaugurated on April, 24 marking a significant milestone in Sri Lanka’s development journey.

The Uma Oya multi-purpose development project, which began in 2010 with an estimated cost of $ 529 million, is a collaborative effort between Sri Lanka and Iran.

The project aims to harness water resources for hydroelectricity generation, irrigation and providing drinking water to several regions.

During her visit to the project sites, she observed the Diaraba and Puhulpola Reservoirs, integral components of the project responsible for water collection for electricity production.

The underground power plant in Ella Karandagolla was also inspected, where the generation of 120 MW of hydroelectricity is set to benefit the national power grid.

Highlighting the project’s impact on agriculture, Wanniarachchi noted that the project will facilitate the cultivation of thousands of acres of paddy fields in Monaragala and Badulla districts.

Additionally, the project will directly irrigate vast stretches of farmland, boosting agricultural productivity benifiting livelihoods of the people in the region.

The project’s scope includes the construction of dams, tunnels, and power lines to facilitate water and electricity distribution. Upon completion, excess water will be directed to reservoirs in the Hambantota district, benefiting further agricultural activities in the region.

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.

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