COLOMBO, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- The breakthrough ceremony of a storm water drainage tunnel expected to alleviate flooding in the capital city of Colombo was marked with the attendance of local officials, local media reported on Sunday.
Construction of the New Mutwal Tunnel in northern Colombo was completed on Aug. 21 by China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Company Limited in a breakthrough ceremony attended by State Minister of Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal, and Public Sanitization Nalaka Godahewa and Charge d'affaires of the embassy of China in Sri Lanka Hu Wei.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, State Minister Godahewa thanked the Chinese contractor for working through difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in order to deliver infrastructure that would benefit more than 50,000 people living in the capital.
A statement from the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing said the tunnel was built, "with the objective of mitigating the adverse physical, social, and economic effects caused by the constant flooding experienced in the Colombo Metropolitan Region."
The 778-meter long tunnel will carry flood water at a capacity of 15,000 liters per second from a canal in the Colombo neighborhood of Aluthmawatha, under the town of New Mutwal, and out to sea from an opening at the Mutwal Fisheries Harbor.
The project was first proposed in 2010, after which a feasibility study was conducted in 2013 and construction began in 2019.
The New Mutwal Tunnel is part of the Sri Lankan government's Metro Colombo Urban Development Project. Enditem