Impacts of seismic activities on structural integrity of reservoirs, tunnels assessed

Impacts of seismic activities on structural integrity of reservoirs, tunnels assessed

September 18, 2023   08:08 pm

Sagala Ratnayaka, the President’s Senior Advisor on National Security and Chief of Staff, has directed relevant officials to furnish a comprehensive report within two weeks, encompassing a detailed assessment of the current safety conditions of all reservoirs, lakes, dams and water-carrying tunnels across the island.

Additionally, the report is expected to outline the necessary repair work required and provide an estimation of associated costs, the President’s Media Division (PMD) says.

Ratnayaka emphasized the urgency of this report, underlining the need for prompt action to address any potential safety concerns. The report’s ultimate aim is to facilitate informed decision-making at the highest levels of government.

The directive was delivered during a high-level meeting convened at the Presidential Secretariat today (Sept. 18). Officials from government institutions including the Irrigation Department, Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority and Ceylon Electricity Board participated in the discussion.

During the meeting, a detailed discussion ensued regarding the technical safety aspects of reservoirs, dams and tunnels, specifically those belonging to the Irrigation Department, the Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority and the Electricity Board, according to the PMD.

Particular attention has been given to the challenges arising from blockages in water-carrying tunnels, necessitating their restoration by removing sedimentary deposits such as sand and mud.

Moreover, the potential impacts of recent seismic activity on the structural integrity of reservoirs and tunnels in the respective regions were assessed, as well as the recurrent annual impacts under normal operating conditions.

Engineers and senior officials representing the Irrigation Department, Sri Lanka Mahaweli Authority and Electricity Board actively participated in the extensive deliberations, reaffirming the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and reliability of critical water infrastructure.

The report is expected to be submitted to President Ranil Wickremesinghe and it will serve as a vital reference point for future policy decisions aimed at enhancing the resilience and functionality of Sri Lanka’s water infrastructure, the PMD said further.

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