HC Deb 05 December 1983 vol 50 c18
75. Mr. Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress on the Victoria dam, Sri Lanka, including the Government's financial and technical contribution to the project.

Mr. Raison

Progress on the Victoria project is running close to the original programme. It is expected that the reservoir will start filling next April and that the power supply will start to flow in July.

The British Government have spent about £87 million to date; we expect to spend about £26 million more before completion in early 1985. We are assisting the Sri Lankan Government by training the staff who will operate it on completion.

Mr. Chapman

Does my right hon. Friend agree that this project represents the objectives of British aid overseas? It is a large and generous amount for a project, the benefits of which can be seen by millions of people, which will last for many years and draws upon the engineering and design skills of British firms and construction workers.

Mr. Raison

I agree with my hon. Friend that this project shows every sign of being one where British engineering and other skills will make an enormous contribution. The project will be of great value to the people of Sri Lanka.