President Mahinda Rajapaksa Saturday commissioned another Mahaweli Zone project to provide water for drinking and agriculture to the people in the Eastern Province.
The President released the first flow of water and opened the Rambaken Oya Reservoir which was constructed at a cost of Rs. 3.97 billion to provide water for cultivation of thousands of acres of farmland and provide drinking water to the residents in the Ampara district.
The new reservoir has been built by totally utilizing the local technological talent and workforce. A 3,600 feet long and 81 feet high dam across Rambaken Oya has been constructed to retain water and in a catchment area of 130 square kilometers. The reservoir has a capacity of 56 million cubic meters.
The water released through a 6.7 kilometer long canal will help to irrigate 3,500 acres of paddy land and 1,200 acres of agricultural land.
Around 2,330 farming families will directly benefit from the multipurpose project while another 23,000 families will receive indirect benefits.
Rambaken Oya area is being developed as the 10th Mahaweli zone following the construction of the reservoir.
The project completed under the Mahinda Chintanaya national development concept will provide economic and health benefits and social welfare facilities to the community and enhances their nutritional levels.
Addressing the public after commissioning the Reservoir, President Rajapaksa said the project was commissioned to find a lasting solution to the drinking water issue and, irrigation problems.
He emphasized that the Mahinda Chintanaya national development concept was formulated to identify the problems in the rural area and to address them immediately and an array of huge development programs for public benefit are in the offing in the province.
A large number of Sri Lanka's aborigine Vedda people who will also benefit from the project participated in the ceremony. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, Irrigation & Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Eastern Province Governor Mohan Wijewickrama also were present.