Babai floods destroy irrigation canal

- RAJENDRA NATH, NEPALGUNJ
Babai floods destroy irrigation canal

Aug 26, 2014-

The Babai river floods, flowing at a record volume of 10,000 cubic metres per second (cms) on August 13, has destroyed Babai Irrigation Project infrastructure worth Rs 250 million, concerned officials said.

The integral structures of the canal were designed by an American engineering consultancy to withstand floods up to 7,490 cms, estimating the return period as a one-time event in 100 years. However, all prior assumptions have been proven wrong.

“After the water speed increased beyond 7,490 cms, even the water speed monitoring equipment broke down,” said project chief Maheshwor Narsingh KC.  He said that they estimated the water flow speed by analyzing the marks left by the floods and records of technicians who witnessed the disaster.

The floods also inundated the bridge spanning 315 metres over Babai river along the East-West Highway.

KC said destruction of massive proportion was avoided as the river changed its course.  The flood swept over 300 metres of the bund.”It was due to the bunds that the river changed its course towards the forest saving the bridge,” KC said.

The project has been rendered useless just after two decades of operation. Launched in 1995, it has been benefitting more than 63,000 farmers. KC said they farmers will face a huge loss if the canal is not rebuilt soon. Repair work on the canal is already under way.

 

Published: 27-08-2014 10:22

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