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Irrigation projects: Compensation before land acquisition

Minister of Irrigation and State Minister of Internal Security, Home Affairs, and Disaster Management Chamal Rajapaksa said compensation should be paid for lands acquired, prior to the commencement of irrigation projects. 

Chamal Rajapaksa

He made these remarks during the meeting of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Irrigation in Parliament on Monday (23).

The Minister emphasised that attention should be given towards the satisfaction of the people who are losing their lands and that they should be justly compensated, thus receiving their blessings for projects in return. Accordingly, the Minister instructed the relevant divisions to immediately take the necessary measures required for this purpose.

Minister Rajapaksa’s comments followed MP Dilan Perera’s revelation that 6,000 families, who had lost their lands as a result of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project, had not yet been compensated.

The work pertaining to the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project is scheduled to be completed by June next year, through which the Government will be able to add 120 megawatts (MW) to the national power grid, which is considered a key component of the Government’s return on investment (ROI).

Furthermore, Ministry Secretary Anura Dissanayake stated that all the necessary funds have been allocated for this purpose through the Budget and that this project, which will supply water to nearly 355 tanks, is scheduled to be operational by June.

Adding, Dissanayake further stated that the 26 km long tunnel and the 94 km long North Central Maha Ela Project, which is set to feed 1,200 small tanks and was proposed to be completed in six years, will be completed in four years’ time.

Given that provisions have been allocated through the Budget for a number of projects including the aforesaid, he assured that a number of projects that were delayed will be completed soon.