Nation-building Army Troops Start Renovation of 'Chandana Pokuna'
Tank in Hingurakgoda
More than 100 members of the Army, together with a few
other tri-service and Civil Security Department personnel under the 'Pibidemu
Polonnaruwa' district development project of the 'Rajarata Navodaya' of
the Presidential Secretariat began renovation, one of the most vital
irrigational tanks, called the 'Chandana Pokuna' in the general area of
Hingurakgoda, Minneriya in Polonnaruwa district on Friday (2).
It was initiated by HE the President Maithripala
Sirisena during a ceremony in response to a public appeal at
Hingurakgoda as the first irrigational tank under this programme.
The inauguration of the programme of renovating of
2400 irrigational tanks commenced with the intention of reviving the
ancient irrigation development in the country to emerge as a
Accordingly old irrigation tanks, those were not
renovated for a long period of time, in the North, East, North Western
and North Central provinces will also be renovated under this programme.
123 irrigational tanks in the Polonnaruwa district will receive complete
renovation under the first phase.
This lake has been providing water to cultivate
thousands of acres of land since the times of ancient kings. 'Chandana
Pokuna' lake which has a gross water capacity of 800 acre/feet provides
its benefits to 300 farming families in the area after expected
These renovations are carried out with the support of
Sri Lanka Army under the 'Pibidemu Polonnaruwa (Awakening of Polonnaruwa)'
District Development Project of the 'Rajarata Navodaya'.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony the President
said that the objective of this programme is to strengthen the economy
of the farmer community as well as to strengthen the national economy of
the country by giving a new impetus for the field of agriculture and
food production. He further said that it is the responsibility of
everybody to contribute to achieve success in this programme to give a
better living standard for the farming community in the country.
The cost of renovations has been earlier estimated at
Rs. 16 million but Army intervention in the national task has brought it
down to as low as Rs. 2.5 million there by saving a lot for the national
Under the first phase of the project, with the
concurrence of the Commander of the Army, the troops under the
supervision of Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe (Rtd), Project
Director, 'Pibidemu Polonnaruwa' with the support of Civil Security
Department personnel recently conducted collecting spreads of moss,
invading plants and other wild creepers floating inside the tank. To be
in line with the Commander's conceptual view that 1/3 of the Army should
all the time be dedicated for nation-building, the Security Force
Headquarters - East (SFHQ-E), commanded by Major General Santhusitha
Pananwala deployed the Army contingent and Army vehicles to begin
clearing and renovation work of the tank recently before the ceremonial
inauguration began Friday (2) morning.
The moss-covered 'Chandana Pokuna' tank, which relates
to the times of ancient kings continues to remain as the major source of
water supply for thousands of acres of irrigational and cultivable land
and provides water to more than 325 families for sanitary and washing
purposes in the area. However, this tank with a spread of 42.2 acres
turned infested with a dense cover of wild creepers, moss and different
watery plants and has been neglected to ruin since its bunds had not
received any attention of the authorities for over 20 years. Affected
villagers in recent times have however brought the unfortunate condition
of this tank to the notice of HE the President Maithripala Sirisena.
After intended clearing and renovations, it is
believed that the tank capacity could be further expanded with rainy
water, adequate to irrigate 1000 more acres of cultivable lands during
Presidential Secretariat with the intention of
uplifting economic standards and livelihoods of the rural-folk by
improving the country's infrastructure facilities, expects these
projects to usher in a new era of prosperity and development in the
rural sector with the cooperation of the Security Forces.
Different assignments in Polonnaruwa, now in full
swing under the overall supervision of the Presidential Secretariat and
also in close liaison with respective Village Development Societies,
Grama Niladari officials, Samurdi officials, village chieftains and all
other stakeholders at village level, are closely evaluated by the
Central Environment Authority, officials of the Irrigation Department,
Agrarian Services Department, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education
and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Under the 'Pibidemu Polonnaruwa' project of the 'Rajarata
Navodaya', Army Engineers, belonging to Corps of Engineer Services (CES)
and Field Engineers, Navy and Air Force personnel as at present are
enthusiastically carrying out infrastructure development work of
schools, religious places, state health agencies, archaeological sites,
community halls, sports complexes, tanks, etc in areas under 7
Divisional Secretariats in Polonnaruwa District, in addition to their
engagement in Chinese-funded special projects.
Public representatives of the area, including
Polonnaruwa District Secretary, Mr Ranjith Ariyarathna, Director, 'Pibidemu
Polonnaruwa' development project, Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe (Rtd)
and a few other military Officers joined this event.
Courtesy : Army Media Unit