The first phase of construction on the lower Malwathu Oya reservoir was initiated by the Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Palitha Range Bandara.
The proposed Malwathu Oya Reservoir is located across the Malwathu Oya in Kappachchi which lies in the Anuradhapura and Vavuniya districts. This project envisages the construction of a 209 MCM capacity reservoir, 3,590-metre-long earth dam, radial gated spillway, left bank, right bank and river sluices and canal systems to the new settlement area and powerhouse.
Under the first stage, the main project office will be constructed near the Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya and the canal leading to Yoda Weva from Malwathu Oya will be constructed first. The total length of the canal is 27 kilometres.
The construction of the Malwathu Oya reservoir will commence in the first quarter of 2018 and the total cost of the project is Rs. 13 billion. A 13-kilometer-long dam will be built across Malwathu Oya in Thanthirimale. Once constructed, the Malwathu Oya reservoir will be the third largest reservoir in the country.
The project aims to provide water to irrigate 40,000 acres of paddy fields in both the Yala and Maha seasons. In addition, the project will provide drinking water and generate hydropower.
People in Anuradhapura, Mannar and Trincomalee and a host of other areas will benefit from the project. The project is also expected to remedy the frequent floods and wild elephant conflict.
In parallel to the Malwathu Oya project, Thanthirimale town will also be developed and the area will be developed into a tourist zone. Accordingly, the project will set up children’s parks, safari parks and a museum adjacent to the Thanthirimale temple.
Furthermore, during the first stage, people who have lost their lands due to the project will be resettled in other areas. Minister Range Bandara has instructed officials to commence the construction of the reservoir after resolving all the problems of the residents. Already solutions have been reached after discussions with the people, the Ministry said.