Compensation were paid to farmers who could not undertake “ Yala” season cultivation of 2018 due to ongoing Yan Oya construction activities and the ceremony held at District Secretariat Audition for this purpose was chaired by P. Harrison , Minister of Agriculture, Rural Economic Affairs , Livestock Development , Irrigation and Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development.
A total of Rs. 6.7 Million were given as compensation to 71 farmers under Wahalkada project. Further expressing views the Minister stressed the necessity of completing the payment of compensation and resettlement activities before constructing a reservoir. However with regard to constructions on “Yan Oya” the environmental report had been got approved upon completion of constructions. Its Environmental Impact Report has been obtained after discussing the matter 16 times with officers of the Dept. of wildlife, Dept. of Forest Conservation and Ministry of Environment.
I instructed to complete resettlement, housing constructions and providing paddy lands before undertaking dam constructions. Accordingly, we are going to undertake constructions on 210 housing units with all facilities for resettlement of those whose residences are submerged by the reservoir. In addition upon completion of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report , they will be given paddy lands as well for cultivation with least damage to the environment.
Unending issues and agitations were there with regard to Yan Oya development due to lack of proper relations among Department of forest Conservation, Dept. Of Wildlife and the Ministry of Environment. No cabinet approval had been sought. Amidst various difficulties I obtained recommendation for payment of compensation.
“Now it has been planned to complete both Right and left- bank canals by 2020 and allow for farmers to use the same. we have also panned to construct 02 fishing villages as well “the Minister said.
Officiates including project Director Mr.Udaya Hemakumara, Project Co- Coordinator Mr. Upul Kodithuwakku and District Secretary, Anuradhapura Mr. Keerthi Gamage attended this occasion.