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The Rs 2290 million Thanthirimale Reservoir Project – the third largest reservoir in Sri Lanka once completed –launched yesterday (25) opens cultivation opportunity through both seasons for many northern farmers for the first time in a long time.

“So far the farmers in this Northern region have been farming for only one season every year and this project enables them to farm through both seasons” said the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the event.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister P. Harrison, several MPs of ACMC, farmers of the region and other participants joined the launch of Reservoir Project.

Minister Bathiudeen said: “This is a victory for farmers in this area and it strengthens them economically and agriculturally. Also water shortages faced by people in these areas, including Mannar are solved by this project. We are very happy to witness the launch of this historic project which will supply water to Anuradhapura, Mannar and Vavuniya Districts.

Many previous governments tried to commence this project but it is this government that finally managed to launch it at a cost of Rs 2290 million. The continued efforts of Minister of Agriculture P. Harrison finally resulted in today’s project launch. I am personally aware of his huge commitment to make project a reality.

I personally know that President Maithripala Sirisena also spoke to the World Bank on this project and also aware that he is supporting to vest this project with the public upon completion as early as possible.

In the last four years Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, under the leadership of President, has been initiating many development projects across Sri Lanka with huge investments. Recently he opened 400 schools across the country at the same time from Kurunegala and then went on to launch work on 126 new roads in Trincomalee District at a cost of Rs 800 million.”

12% of total sown acres of paddy in Sri Lanka (in Maha season, under all schemes) are in the Districts of Anuradhapura, Mannar and Vavuniya. Once the Thanthirimale project is completed, it is expected to irrigate 30680 acres of paddy lands in these three Districts. 50000 families in these Districts will receive water supplies. Seven irrigation lakes in these three Districts will be filled by the new reservoir. Floods in Mannar District are expected to be tamed while Thanthirimale is to be shaped as an Economic Centre for North.