The Kelani Ganga should be made the gateway for Sri Lanka’s prosperity once again by implementing a multi purpose development scheme on the lines of the Mahaweli Development scheme, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
The Minister said that under the Kelani Ganga development scheme proposed by his Ministry, it is envisaged to divert Kelani waters to the dry zone, strengthen the British era’s outdated canals and waterways to control floods, utilising the Kelani as a transport waterway and utilising its water to resolve the drinking water problem of Colombo.
Minister Ranawaka was addressing a press conference held at his Ministry auditorium to mark the signing of an agreement between his Ministry and the China Petroleum Pipe Line Private Ltd to plan and build two tunnel waterways to control floods in Colombo, on May 30.
The Minister said, it was a very important day for Colombo when floods had become a common topic concerning the people. Colombo is situated in the Kelani Valley and as such, it was a low lying area. Streamlining the water flow was very necessary to avert Colombo and its suburbs from floods. A large scale project was now underway regarding the tackling of this issue.
If Colombo was to march forward as a prime city, its water supply complex, drainage and sewerage complex should be streamlined. These were nearly 150 years old and very obsolete. The Muthuwella tunnel which discharged Colombo’s storm water to the sea had been built during the Dutch period. No new drainage scheme had been planned for a longtime. As such, the Ministry had launched several tunnel and closed drains complexes to modernise the city.
The Minister said, underground work could not be undertaken in Colombo city because it hampered telephone, electricity and various other lines laid underground. But they have been able to streamline the network in Borella by completing a canal from opposite the Devi Balika Vidyalaya up to Heen Ela.
Another drainage complex is built across D. S. Senanayake Vidyalaya and Kynsey Road. This would prevent flooding near the General Cemetery area by the end of this year.
A new 750 x 3 metre tunnel was being built parallel to the Muthuwella old tunnel to control floods in Aluth Mawatha area. Work had commenced on the Nagalegam Street pump house and work on the Kolonnawa and Ambatale pump house would be launched this year.
The Wellawatte Canal would also be rehabilitated to carry flood waters. He said several water pumps had been brought down in league with the Irrigation Department to this area to pump flood waters to the river during any emergency situations.Source: Daily News