Originally, implemented in 1970, the Mahaweli Development was an
ambitious scheme to develope the 1268 sqkm Mahaweli basin. By
construction of a series of reservoirs on the Mahaweli Ganga, it's
tributeries Amban Ganga and Kotmale Oya, the Maduru Oya and Yan Oya, with
the dual purpose of increasing the countries agricultural production of
staple foods up to a level of self sufficiency and to provide a initial
generating capacity of approximately 600 MW.
Although it was first intended to take thirty years
to complete the development, in 1977 the government took a decision to
complete the development’s five major installations, i.e. Victoria,
Kotmale, Maduruoya, Randenigala and Moragahakanda in six years.
The new scheme was named as Accelarated Mahaweli
Program and started to build five major installations simultaneously in
a single construction phase. The major power stations coming under
Mahaweli Hydro power complex are, Kotmale, Victoria, Randenigala,
Rantambe, Ukuwela, Bowatenna and Nilmbe.