Written by Staff Writer
19 Apr, 2019 | 8:14 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Despite the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project being financed by the government of Iran, the Sri Lankan government has been compelled to bear approximately 80% of its cost. The development project is currently in its final phase.
In 2008, the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project commenced with the assistance of the Export Development Bank of Iran.
Accordingly, it was proposed that the government of Iran will bear 85% of the total estimated cost of US$ 514 million of the development project.
However, with sanctions imposed on Iran, FARAB Energy and Water Project Company, the main contractor in this regard, failed to bear the cost of the Uma Oya project. This resulted in Iran limiting its fund disbursement to US$ 50 million.
Therefore, the government of Sri Lanka was compelled to bear a cost of US$ 464 million for the Uma Oya project. While 95% of the development project has so far been completed, another US$ 71 million is required for the completion of the remaining 5%.
The conclusion of construction activities of the project has been delayed by 1 year, due to the water leak in the main tunnel.
Director of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project, Dr Sunil de Silva noted that while excavations were taking place they were able to find water leaks in the tunnel. He noted that upon the request made to the Norwegian government by President Sirisena, Norwegian specialists extended their support to Sri Lanka and they modified equipment and continued excavation according to their advice.
The Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project which is currently in its final phase will provide several benefits to the public.
Among the many benefits, is the addition of 120 megawatts of power to the national grid through the underground hydropower plant.
In addition, it has been proposed to divert excess water released during the hydropower generation process, to the Alikota Ara and Hadapanagala reservoirs, and will be supplied to approximately 1000 acres of paddy fields.
Dr de Silva went onto note that the aim of the Uma Oya project is to divert excess water from the Uma Oya to the Kirindi-oya. He said that only excess water will be diverted and the main objective of this project is to provide water to locals of Kumbukkana and solve the water crisis in their area.
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