Sunday, November 22, 2020

Senanayake Samudraya

Senanayaka Samudraya
Senanayake Samudraya (also known as Inginiyagala Reservoir or Gal Oya Dam) is a reservoir located in Inginiyagala in Ampara District, Sri Lanka. At present, it is the largest reservoir in the country.

History
The possibility of constructing a large reservoir in the Inginiyagala area was first identified in the 1930s by J.S. Kennedy, a British Director of Irrigation (Wijesundera, 2006). After many inspections and other planning processes the construction works of the reservoir was commenced in March 1949 (Wijesundera, 2006). The Morrison–Knudsen International Inc of California, an international firm of contractors, was awarded the contract (Wijesundera, 2006). Providing water for irrigation, controlling floods, and generating electrical power for lighting and for the industry were among the purposes of constructing the reservoir (Wijesundera, 2006).
 
The construction of the main dam of the reservoir was started in 1949 and was completed in November 1951 (Wijesundera, 2006). The power plant was connected to the penstock tubes on 25 November 1951 and water was issued through the irrigation outlets on 10 December 1951 (Wijesundera, 2006). The final works of the project were handed over to the Gal Oya Development Board in September 1952 (Wijesundera, 2006). 
 
The completed reservoir was named "Senanayake Samudra" after the first Prime Minister of Ceylon D.S. Senanayake who was primarily responsible for getting this project carried out (Wijesundera, 2006).

Reservoir
The reservoir has been build by constructing an earthen dam across the Gal Oya stream, at a narrow gap in the valley by the Inginiyagala hills (Arumugam, 1969). The dam is about 3600 ft long and 140 ft tall (Arumugam, 1969). The width of the dam at the top is 30 ft (Arumugam, 1969). 
 
Extending in an area of about 30 square miles, the reservoir is able to store 770,000 acre-feet capacity of water (Arumugam, 1969). A concrete spillway of about 1020 ft long has been constructed 1.5 miles far away from the main dam (Arumugam, 1969). 
 
The water of the reservoir is primarily used for irrigation in Eastern and Uva provinces and in addition to that, the water is used to generate the hydro-electricity through the Inginiyagala Power Station that located immediately downstream of the dam.

Senanayaka Samudraya .
References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.163.
2) Wijesundera, S.D.S., 2006. Constructions through the ages. Centenary commemoration publications 1906-2006. The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka. pp.49-53.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 22 November 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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