President Maithripala Sirisena says renovations of 25 irrigational tanks in Trincomalee District alone have been completed by this year, under the government’s program to build an agricultural economy to bring the historical irrigation culture back in Sri Lanka.
The President was speaking at a ceremony held today (July 21) near the historical Kantale Reservoir. The ceremony was held to appraise the excellences in 2016 of Local Food Production Program.
He said these 25 tanks were renovated at a cost of Rs. 200million which was allocated through the Presidential Secretariat from ‘Sirisara Pivisuma’ district program, costs Rs. 5000 million, initiated under three years plan to renovate tanks, develop roads, build the elephant fence and to develop health and education in Trincomalee District.
Under this, 500 small tanks were renovated in Trincomalee District. The renovation work is done through the Ellangava tank network, a historic irrigation system which had been built in a way not to waste the rain water that flows to the tank.
The President vested the renovated Gan Thalava Unit – 12 Tank with the public.
It was significant that Gan Thalava Unit – 12 Tank was renovated at a cost of Rs. 23 million even when it has been estimated for Rs. 23million. The renovation work was done with the contribution of the people of the area, farmer unions, farmer leaders and the members of tri-forces.
The President unveiled the plaque and vested the tank with public. He handed over tractors, bowsers and cabs to the Engineering Force of Sri Lanka Army to be used for ‘Sirisara Pivisuma’ District Program.
“When we consider about the historic foundation and the prosperous eras of this country, Sri Lanka can be built through an economy based on agriculture. To do it, we should help farmers to build up a better economic condition. We should produce many import items within our country. The current government is giving priority for that”, he said.
The President said Moragahakanda Project, which renovates more than 700 tanks in Trincomalee and Vayamba will provide a permanent solution for the drinking water issue. “It will also provide a permanent solution for the drinking water issue of the people living in Kantale”, he said.
Under the concept of food safety and the sustainable agricultural practices of the ‘A Compassionate Governance – A Stable Country’ election manifesto, the President presented awards to 48 farmers, felicitating their great service for the promotion of the local food production.
Accordingly, 17 farmers received their awards from the President.
These awards were presented under three categories of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries and when selecting these farmers, attention was drawn regarding the use of advanced technology and modern farming techniques, produce of carbonic fertilizer minimizing the use of chemical fertilizers.
Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera, Duminda Disanayake, Daya Gamage, Deputy Minister Ameer Ali, Governor of Eastern Province Rohitha Bogollagama, Eastern Provincial Council Members Ariyawathi Galappaththi, Priyantha Pathirana, SLFP Seruwila District Organizer Nalin Gunawardena, Army Commander Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, former Secretary to the President P.B. Abeykhoon participated on this occasion.