Out of the ten Mahaweli Zones, Weli Oya area of the Mahaweli ‘L’ Zone has been prioritised to improve the living condition of its settlers, State Minister Siripala Gamlath said last week.
Mahaweli Zone Canals and Common Settlement Infrastructure Development State Minister Siripala Gamlath recently said a considerable amount of money has been allocated from the Budget this year to develop the Weli Oya area accordingly.
The State Minister was participating at a ceremony held to rehabilitate the Selalihinigama and the Helamba Irrigation tanks in the Mahaweli ‘L’ Zone recently. The State Minister also engaged in an inspection tour of the area to identify the problems of the settlers.
Mahaweli Zone Canals and Common Settlement Infrastructure State Ministry Secretary Engineer Wasantha Bandara Palugaswewa said, “Rs.577 million has been allocated in the budget this year for the development of the ‘L’ Zone. Comparing to the allocations made for the area in the past, a considerable amount has been provided this year,” he said.
State Minister Siripala Gamlath had taken steps to meet the farming community led by the Maha Sangha in those areas to identify their problems, it is stated.
“About 18, 671 families are currently residing in the Mahaweli ‘L’ Zone since its inception in 1987.Farmers in the Zone are cultivating nearly 1, 000 hectares of paddy in the Yala season and 4,200 hectares in the Maha Season. In addition, they prefer to grow pulses and additional crops in the area. Accordingly, the farming community in the Zone immensely contribute to the national economic development,” he said.
However, lack of irrigated water and drinking water had been identified as two major issues of the people in the area.Therefore, the Mahaweli Authority had identified that immediate action needed to be taken to solve those issues in order to improve the living condition of the residents of Weli Oya.
Accordingly, the Mahaweli Zone Canals and Common Settlement Infrastructure Development State Ministry has initiated a special programme under the directive of His Excellency President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to improve the living condition of the people of Weli Oya, Padaviya, Samath Nuwara, Parakramapura and Gajabapura.
Steps have also been taken to provide drinking- water, water for agriculture, ago-wells, milch cows for livestock development, guidance for self-employment, infrastructure development in the health education sector, livelihood programmes, road development, settlement of land disputes, and electric fences to prevent roaming of wild elephants to the villages. Vanni District MP Cadar Mastan, Mahaweli State Ministry Secretary Engineer Wasantha Bandara Palugaswewa, Additional Secretary Gamini Ilangarathna, Mahaweli ‘L’ Zonal Residential Enterprise Manager Gamini Gunawardana and several officials attached to the Mahaweli Authority participated in the event.
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