COLOMBO — China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) has kicked off a $230 million water supply project, which is the largest ever undertaken by the Sri Lankan government, an official said on Dec 6.
The inaugural pipe laying was done by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa in the town of Mahara, about 19.6 km from capital Colombo.
The project, once completed, will provide clean drinking water to about 600,000 people in 42 villages scattered around the region.
An estimated $20 million is also provided by the Sri Lankan government who will work with CMEC to implement the venture.
“We are doing this for the community. It’s a very important project and we are grateful for the Chinese government for supporting us in this. This is something that has great social worth,” Rajapaksa told the gathering at the inauguration ceremony.
In the next three years, CMEC will build a water treatment plant with a supply capacity of 54,000 cubic meters a day and a new water intake volume of 85,000 cubic meters per day.
CMEC has unanimously agreed to commence the water project earlier than usual, Rajapaksa added, praising the swiftness with which the work was taking place on the ground.
The topographic survey and soil investigation of the water treatment plant was completed in June and site clearing for the plant was also wrapped up in November, leaving CMEC to begin laying over 1,000 km of water pipes.
Rajapaksa also expressed confidence that the efforts of CMEC together with the National Water Supply and Drainage Board will result in the successful completion of the project.
CMEC has been working in Sri Lanka for nearly a decade on a variety of projects. Its largest venture is the Lakvijaya coal power plant that was built with assistance from the Chinese government at a cost of $1.2 billion.