Action TV: Irrigation Dept bungling caused Dighavapi Viharaya paddy lands to submerge?

Action TV: Irrigation Dept bungling caused Dighavapi Viharaya paddy lands to submerge?

Action TV: Irrigation Dept bungling caused Dighavapi Viharaya paddy lands to submerge?

Written by Keshala Dias

30 Jan, 2017 | 10:19 pm

For a second time within a span of an year, the paddy lands belonging to the Dighavapi Viharaya have been inundated due to the Irrigation Department colluding with the Eragama Divisional Secretariat to allow certain parties to remove parts of the bunt of the Gal Oya.

As a result, the Dighavapi Viharaya Perahera area has been submerged as well for a second time.

The soil from the part of the Gal Oya river from where the flooding occurred had been removed to make way for paddy lands based on a decision taken by the Irrigation Department and the Eragama Divisional Secretariat.

As a result of floods taking place from the very same area last January, the water supply to the Dighavapi Viharaya was severely affected and not repaired todate.

Based on a request made by a certain group to engage in fishing activities, it has been revealed that the irrigation officer in charge of the sluice gate downstream in the Sammanthurai area has taken responsibility to have the sluice gate closed.

It was reported that despite the water levels rising due to the continuous rainfall in the area, the relevant irrigation officer made sure the sluice gates were not opened.

The sluice gates were opened on January 26, only after the river had broken its banks and the surrounding authorised paddy lands being flooded.

In the meantime, the Irrigation Department under the guise of renovating the banks of the Gal Oya River located upstream are engaging in a scam.

It is observed that they are repairing the bund of the river with the same soil that was used in the same bund.The Irrigation Department used a similar strategy to apply a plaster to another area that had suffered the same fate.

However, due to the river breaking its banks as a result of this temporary measure, close to 600 acres of paddy has been affected.

Compensation was provided to the farmers who faced this disaster on a selected basis and not on an equal share.

It should be noted that the Eragama Divisional Secretariat ensured that those who had cultivated on farmlands outside of the permitted areas also received a fertiliser subsidy.

The illegal sand mining and excavation activities in this area came to a halt after News 1st highlighted the irregularities on several occasions.

It should be pointed out that the Irrigation Department has approved the setting up of certain brick making enterprise along this river bank, not knowing the impact that such industries have on the environment.

If in fact, the officials of the Irrigation Department had approved the setting up of these brick making enterprises to be set up along the riverbank and approved the excavation of clay for this purpose, then these officers should be given a primary education instead of being allowed to manage irrigation activities.

Accordingly, the measures taken in this regard serves no purpose.Director General of the Department of Irrigation, this is over to you..

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