01st February 2018 17:30:23 Hours
More than 200 members of the Army, together with Civil Security Department personnel under the ‘Pibidemu Polonnaruwa’ project on Wednesday (31) began clearing and renovating one of the most vital irrigational tanks, called the 'Chandana Pokuna' in the general area of Hingurakgoda, Minneriya in response to a public appeal.
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 to begin clearing and renovation work of the tank.
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.
Accordingly, with the concurrence of the Commander of the Army, the troops under the supervision of Brigadier Chandana Wijesundera, Project Director, ‘Pibidemu Polonnaruwa’ with the support of Civil Security Department personnel on Wednesday (31) began collecting spreads of moss, invading plants and other wild creepers floating inside the tank. A few machinery of the Army too have been used for the same purpose on the directions of the Commander, Security Forces - East.
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 drought seasons.
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 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.
Brigadier Chandana Wijesundera, Project Director, ‘Pibidemu Polonnaruwa’ and several officers, together with civil authorities in the area were present at the inaugural occasion of the 'Chandana Pokuna' tank work.