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415 out of 699 tanks and reservoirs are in danger of spilling over

23 November 2023 02:16 pm - 3     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Romesh Madusanka, Sudath M. Hewa, Ranjith Rajapakse, Shane Seneviratne, Shantha Chandrasiri 

Heavy rain experienced currently in the Vavuniya district has resulted in the spilling over of 415 out of 699 tanks and reservoirs in the district.

District Secretary P.A. Sarathdhandra said the Pavakkulam reservoir and several other tanks and minor irrigation canals within the purview of the Agrarian Services Department and the Irrigation Department have been overflowing since last morning.

He said 400 tanks, 11 minor irrigation works under the Department of Agrarian Services, and four major reservoirs under the Department of Irrigation were spilling over.

He said civilian life in the district has been disrupted, and paddy cultivation for the Maha season tio has been devastated.

Castlereigh and Wimalasurendra hydropower reservoirs have been spilling over since last morning.

Engineers in charge of the reservoirs said Castlereigh reservoir spilled over for the first time after three years. They said 13 gates in the reservoir were opened by two and a half feet to release spill water. Engineers pointed out that the Kelani Ganga had swelled due to the release of excess water from these two reservoirs.

Engineers in charge of Victoria Reservoir, which is the main hydropower reservoir, said four automatic spill gates in the reservoir were opened when it spilled over.

Engineer in Charge of the Gamini Dissanayake Reservoir in Kotmale, R.M.S. Watsala, said one of the automatic spill gates of the reservoir opened last morning and 69.6 cubic metres of water were being released into the Mahaweli Ganga through Kotmale Oya.

He warned those in the low-lying areas of the reservoirs and river, including Nugawela, Riverside, Mawatura, Ulapane, Gampola, Weligalla, Welioya, Peradeniya, Katugastota and Polgolla, to refrain from using Kotmale Oya and the Mahaweli Ganga in view of any possible dangers.

Two spill gates of the Kala Oya reservoir were opened yesterday to release excess water at a speed of 3000 sq. ft. per second into the Kala Oya river. This had resulted in a flood threat, causing obstructions to traffic on the Kalawewa-Aukana road.

Meanwhile, fourteen families in the Galahagama area of Uva Paranagama Division have been evacuated on Wednesday night (22) and provided shelter in safer locations in view of the impending danger of a landslide.


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  Comments - 3

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  • Kumar Soysa Thursday, 23 November 2023 06:33 PM

    The most important thing is to desilt the tank bed and strengthen the tank bund. This elementary technique has been neglected for decades. Now we will have the bunds break causing floods and empty tanks in about a month, resulting in water not being available for anything.

    Dam Safety Engineer Friday, 24 November 2023 03:08 AM

    It is not wise to comment on area of expertise one is not familiar and expose his/her ignorance. Desilting reservoirs will only increase dead storage and will be of little use to anyone except perhaps wild animals during draught. Improving the safety of dams is a YES. Mostly, these spillways are under capacity by world accepted safety standards; however augmenting spillway capacity is a major expenditure that the country right now cannot undertake.

    Karalasingam Sivalingam Thursday, 23 November 2023 07:26 PM

    This water is a gift of God, the authorities should preserve the water to generate electricity without any interruptions throughout.


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