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Kalamatiya Tank remains intact under SLN protection

The Kalamatiya tank, also known as Kalamatiyakulum, had been built by the British in 1936. Situated in Thambalagamuwa in the Trincomalele district, the 315-acre tank provides water throughout the year to the Trincomalee town and the sprawling naval base in the Naval Dockyard. It can be reached by traversinga gravel path which stretches 09 kilometers through the thick jungle. The path commences to the right of the Palampataru junction, which is located 22 kilometers from Trincomalee on the Trincomalee - Habarana road. However, walking on the path at night is dangerous due to the presence of wild elephants. Hence, it is best to take precautions if one wishes to venture into the area to view the giant tank with a capacity of 10,345 million gallons of water, standing majestically 162 feet above the sea level, well protected by a 2,840 foot-long bund.

The first thing one encounters while walking along the gravel path is the Naval Agricultural and Livestock Farm located adjacent to the Kalamatiya tank. The farm with a land extent of 1,054 acres was established on 01st January 1967. It is afertile land which had enabled it to win the award for the best farm in the country in 1975.It is being managed by the Sri Lanka Navy.

During the north-east conflict, the Navy had to pay more attention to the security of the area in addition to agricultural activities. Hence, priority was given to the safety of the tank, which had been the only source of drinking water for the residents in the Trincomalee town as well as all the naval personnel stationed in the area. The Navy has been providing security to this strategic water tank for well over 30 years now; several naval personnel had also sacrificed their lives while protecting the vital water source from terror attacks.

The tank is fed by a 3.3 kilometer-long stream originating in Thambalagamuwa. The water is first channeled to the water treatment plant at Andankulum through a 17.5 kilometer-long metal pipe with a 42-inch circumference. The plant is located off the 04th milepost on the Trincomalee - Habarana road from Kantale in the direction of Trincomalee. Twotreatment tanks, each 120 foot-long, 60 foot-wide and 12 foot-high, store 538, 560 gallons of water. The purified water is then pumped to the Trincomalee town and the naval base.