In bid to find a solution, to the shortage of drinking water in the Jaffna Peninsula, ‘The Arumugam River Plan” is to be revived and a study in underway to prepare a Feasibility Report on the matter. A group of people headed by a retired Secretary of the Ministry of Irrigation, Goonewardene had visited relevant places.
The water shortage in Jaffna is on the increase. As an alternative Iranaimdu – Jaffna water supply scheme was devised , but it could not be implemented due to the opposition of the local residents of Kilinochchi saying the water coming into Iranaimadu is not sufficient to to cater their needs. This is reiterated by the following extract from a research report of an undergraduate of the Jaffna University:
The results of the study, have revealed as follows, the feasibility of Jaffna-Kilinochchi water supply scheme.
Water supply impossible:- The demand for water in Jaffna and kilinochchi districts increases with increase in population. The demand of water throughout 2015 including agricultural activities maintaining underground water level, illegal irrigation, in, and in effective water management of the farmers and water of the people of the kilinochchi and Jaffna district is 1,82,708 acre feet. But the maximum water holding capacity of iranaimadu Tank is only 1,06,500 acre feet. Even if the holding capacity is increased to 1,20,000 acre feet as indicated in this project, the demand for water is more than the holding capacity of the Iranaimadu tank. Hence the Jaffna Killinochchi water supply scheme is seems to be an impossible one.
In a meeting held last year, it was pointed out that the center and the funding agencies had consented for the implementation of Arumugam plan as the solution for shortage of drinking water in the Peninsula. It was pointed out that further action could be taken if the NPC grants its consent. The Chief Secretary of the Northern province and the CM, NPC had given their consent by the end of June this year. A group headed by Goonewardene was appointed to prepare a Feasibility Study Report.
They had met the CM, and other relevant officials and had visited relevant places. A report will be submitted early it is expected.