Uma Oya project runs into further delays

Uma Oya project runs into further delays

Written by Staff Writer

17 Jun, 2018 | 8:51 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Engineers working on the Uma Oya Multi-Purpose Development Project say it will take about another year to complete work. The project is reportedly being delayed due to continuing leaks which sprung during excavation on the Karadagolla tunnel.

The Uma Oya project which was undertaken in spite of public protest is in its final stages. The project was initiated in 2008 and was financed by the Iran Export Development Bank. Environmentalists have consistently maintained that the project engineers have not taken steps to prevent the harm that would be caused to catchment areas in the central hills as a result of this project.

On the instructions of the President, a team of Norwegian Specialists examined the project. According to the Engineer of the Uma Oya Project, Nihal Perera, following the last leak, the Norwegian specialists informed them not to continue digging until they fix the leak. He added that they will be able to complete digging within another year and three months, but if they find more springs, it may take a little longer than the estimated time.

Work on about 8 kilometres of the Karadagolla tunnel has been completed. However around 500-600 litres of water leaks from the tunnel per second.

News 1st looked into the ongoing excavation work on the tunnel. Digging on the tunnel has been limited to 2-3 meters per day due to the leaks while steps are being taken to gradually stop up the leak. Our correspondent Chandana Kuruppuarachchi faced an uphill task in recording footage.

News 1st will bring a special report tomorrow (June 18) on how the underground excavation impacts the scenic waterfalls, catchment areas and the day to day life of the people.

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