Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena inspected the progress of Uma Oya hydro-electricity project which will add 120 megawatts of electricity to the national grid and irrigate barren lands in several districts.
He entered the 3 kilometer tunnel and climb down nearly 50 meters to the power house transformer, which is schedule to generate electricity by middle of this year.
The Prime Minister spoke to project officials and the engineers of the Iranian Company that has been entrusted with the construction work. He thanked them as well as Iranian Ambassador Hashem Ashjazadeh for the excellent implementation of the long-delayed project and for granting loan facilities from Iran.
The tunnel, in addition to generating much needed hydroelectricity, will also divert 145 million cubic meters (MCM) annually from Umaoya Basin to Krindi Oya Basin to irrigate 4,500 ha of new Lands and 1,500 ha of existing Lands.
The Uma Oya Project will also provide 39 MCM annually for industrial and drinking water requirement of Badulla, Monaragala and Hambantota districts. The cost of the project is US$ 514 million. The two dams comprise of Dyaraaba Dam, which is 50 meters high and Puhulpola Dam with a height of 35 meters. There are two tunnels, Headcraft Tunnel 15.3 kilometers and the Link tunnel 3.9 kilometers long.
Iran Ambassador, Hashem Ashjazadeh, Uva Province Governor A J M Musaamil, State Ministers Shashindra Rajapaksa, Jagath Pushpakumara and Chamara Sampath, MPs Sudarshana Denipitiya, Gayashan Nawanandana and Yadamini Gunawardena and project officers were present on this occasion.