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Gandak Canal likely to reopen in 3 weeks

- SHANKAR ACHARYA, PARSA

Dec 12, 2017-

Water will flow through the Gandak Canal again allowing farmers in Parsa, Bara and Rautahat districts to irrigate their wheat fields as repairs are expected to be completed soon.

The key irrigation lifeline was damaged by the massive floods that struck the Tarai plains last August. Maintenance is likely to take another three weeks, officials said.

According to Suresh Sah, engineer and information officer at the Narayani Irrigation Management Division Office in Birgunj, they have almost completed maintenance work on the canal and farmers will be able to irrigate their farm lands.

As per the Gandak Treaty signed with India, the southern neighbour will release water into the canal on January 9, and the canal will be repaired before that.

“Our farmers will not have any problem of water for their freshly planted wheat crops,” said Shah. “India has already completed maintenance work on its part of the canal. However, some work had to be redone since leaks were noticed at a few places after water was released.” 

Repair work on the Jagarnathpur section of the canal in Parsa, which sustained the greatest damage, is almost complete, and it will allow water to flow along the original course, according to Rajendra Prasad Sah, chief of the division office.

“Around 90 percent of the repair work at Jagarnathpur is complete, and the remaining tasks will be complete within a week,” he said. “We have been conducting maintenance work in the area for the last two months.”

Floodwaters from the rain-swollen streams of Oriya had severely damaged the canal. The flood destroyed a 150-metre-long section of the canal and made a 40-metre deep pit in the canal.

The division office has already repaired the pit and reconstructed the embankment at the southern part of the damaged canal. Currently, construction work on the embankment at the northern part is underway. 

The Gandak Canal suffered infrastructural damage amounting to nearly Rs700 million due to the floods, according to the division office in Birgunj. The main canal and its block canals was damaged in Parsa, Bara and Rautahat districts.

Floodwaters damaged the canal’s service road at 35 places including Oriya, Sikta, Gangol, Bangari and Lalbakaiya.

Around 500,000 people in Parsa, Bara and Rautahat were affected due to damage to the service road. Most of the affected people were farmers who found it very difficult to irrigate their paddy fields spread over 28,000 hectares.

Published: 12-12-2017 08:42

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