SLEN CASE STUDY
 Irrigation Resources in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka.
 Irrigation in the Northern Province ---> Rehabilitation of Irrigation Schemes
Introduction
Rehabilitation of Irrigation Schemes
 
Irrigation Resources in the Northern Province
 

 Rehabilitation of Irrigation Schemes

 


Attending urgent repairs with the limited funds are not sufficient to bring the schemes back to their original operational stage. Since most of the schemes were not rehabilitated for the past three decades, they are functioning well below their potential and the risk of failure is considered to be unacceptably high in their present state. Almost all the channels and channel structures are in dilapidated conditions. Due to such uncontrolled system prevailed, the water losses are very high, depriving cultivation of significant extent during yala by farmers. Therefore there is a need for full rehabilitation to bring the tank parameters back to the original designed profile.


Realizing this urgent need, irrigation rehabilitation is included as a component under many projects formulated under “Vadakkin Vasantham” Program initiated with the guidance of Minister of Economic Development Hon. Basil Rajapaksa in par with the Mahintha Chinthanaya of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and being implemented under the direction of an able administrator Hon.G.A. Chandrasiri as the Governor of the Northern Province.


Under these projects, Irrigation Schemes are rehabilitated to bring the schemes back to their original designed profile and to ensure satisfactory irrigation facilities to the specified cultivable lands. In order to achieve this objective, activities such as rehabilitation of head works, rehabilitation of distribution channel system, rehabilitation of drainage channels, and rehabilitation of agricultural roads are carried out.

 

 Mullaitivu District
 

 

All most all the 4 major and 16 medium Irrigation schemes managed by the Irrigation Department, Northern Province in Mullaitivu District were badly affected due to the prolonged conflict and there were potential threats of failure of embankments due to its dilapidated and hazardous condition. However owing to the timely intervention of the Government, this department was able to prevent many catastrophes with the support of its dedicated front line workers, the farmer community and the Security forces, especially Sri Lanka Army.


Brief Summary of the District
Irrigation Schemes in the District 4 major and 16 medium Irrigation schemes
Major Project Vavunikulam Scheme
Benefited area

6060 acres of paddy land under gravity irrigation

837 acres of high land under lift irrigation
Benefited families 3,000
Features

Under this project, the Tank Bund is strengthened, Sluices and spills are improved, and the canal systems and all control structures are rehabilitated.

After completion of this project, 1000 acres of abandoned land not cultivated from the inception of the scheme would be brought under cultivation and the cropping intensity also will increase to 1.40 from 1.10 at present.

 

Vavuniya District
 

 

In the register of the Irrigation Department, Northern Province, there are 17 medium Irrigation Schemes in Vavuniya District, irrigating an extent of 5,755 Acres of paddy lands which are owned by over 1,800 farm families.


Brief Summary of the District
Irrigation Schemes in the District 17 medium Irrigation schemes
Major Project Kanakarajan kulam Scheme
Benefited families 210
Features

314 acres of paddy lands have been brought under cultivat.

Increased cropping intensity of 1.3 from 1.1

 

Mannar District
 

 

In Mannar District 7 Irrigation Schemes are maintained by the Irrigation Department, Northern Province, irrigating an extent of farm families. Due to the conflict situation prevailed 4721 acres of paddy lands which are owned by over 1500 in this district for the last three decades, these schemes became dilapidated condition due to unsatisfactory maintenance.


Rs.55 million was allocated for the rehabilitation of the Palavikulam and its surroundings in Thiruketheswaram temple area.

 

Jaffna District
 

 

Jaffna Peninsula has no rivers or reservoirs due to its flat topography and is totally dependent on rainfall to recharge underground aquifers. However, 3 numbers Lagoon Schemes (Upparu Vadamarachchi, & Elepphant pass), Valukkai aru Drainage Scheme, 34 Nos. Salt Water Exclusion (SWE)Schemes and more than 600 Ponds / Tank are available as surface water resources for the benefit of the people of the Peninsula.


Both, Upparu Lagoon Scheme consisting of Ariyalai Barrage and Vadamarachhci Lagoon Scheme consisting of Thondamanru Barrage under Jaffna Lagoon Scheme were successfully rehabilitated with the investment of 125 Mn. and at present these lagoons are isolated from the sea water.


Due to this intervention, gradual conversion of these lagoons to fresh water lakes is observed and water of the wells in the adjoining area is becoming fresh.


Valukkai aru Drainage Scheme consisting of a Barrage at Araly, Canal Systems and Ponds is being rehabilitated with an investment of Rs. 280 Mn. About 2000 Acres of paddy and 375 Acres of cash crops were cultivated under this scheme by more than 4900 farm families.


Due to this massive investment, the sea water entering into the main land during high tide and discharge of flood water during rainy season are carried out through this reconstructed Barrage successfully and now 275 acres of additional lands were brought under cultivation.


Of the 34 SWE schemes in Jaffna peninsula, 17 schemes have been rehabilitated so far and another 5 schemes are being rehabilitated with a total investment of 125 Mn. Now utilizing this fresh water retained one side of the bund, farmers already started other field crop cultivation

 

 Kilinochchi District
 

 

Kilinochchi District being an agricultural district, it will largely depend on the irrigation network for its development and it has 7 river basins and there are 5 medium tanks and 4 major tanks and the coastal area of the district has No. of S.W.E. bunds. Maintenance of these tanks and canals and the Irrigation network were seriously affected during the last 3 decades and ultimately these schemes are in heavily dilapidated condition.


Kalmadu Restoration was identified as the priority over all other works, as it was blasted by the LTTE terrorist during high escalation of the war in January 2009. This restoration activities were commenced in August 2010 and successfully restored in October 2011 by investing 115 Mn for the benefit of 1025 families.


The Head works of Iranamadu Major Irrigation Scheme is also in hazardous stage for the last so many years and all the channel networks are in heavily dilapidated condition. However, after resettlement, urgent rehabilitation works were taken place for the irrigation channel at a cost of Rs 55 Mn. And farmers started their cultivation activities from Maha 2009/10 under this scheme.


Irrigation Resources in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka
 
Irrigation Resources in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka
 
Irrigation Resources in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka
 
Irrigation Resources in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka

Reference : Northern Provincial Council

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