River control plan lies dead for lack of chief


Apr 12, 2016-

The Karnali River Control Project lies dead because it has no project head. The post of project head has remained vacant for more than two months, and there is no one to carry out administrative and embankment related tasks at the project based in Rajapur in western Nepal.  

Ministerial and secretarial-level delays in reaching a decision regarding filling the vacant post have prevented the project from spending its budget, and the construction work has come to a halt, sources at the project office said.  

Officiating chief Lekhnath Subedi said that the project’s employees had not been able to get their salaries due to the absence of a project head with financial authority. “The construction work has stalled as the contractor has not been paid for the completed tasks,” Subedi said.      

Moreover, the rising water level of the Karnali River is likely to delay the project’s completion. According to contractor Bharat Poudel, the water level of the Karnali could rise in June as the snows on the mountains start to melt, and this could affect the construction work at the Rs22-billion project. 

The government had allocated a budget of Rs230 million for the project in the last fiscal year. This year’s budget has been jacked up to Rs400 million.

The Karnali River Control Project was set up to build a concrete embankment within five years in a bid to protect villages and farmlands at risk. 

Around 5,000 houses are affected annually by floods and inundation by the Karnali River. Technical experts at the project said that floods and inundation would be minimised after the 5-metre-high structure is completed.     

Around 200,000 residents in Rajapur Municipality and five VDCs suffer heavy losses of life and property due to floods during the monsoon.   

Moreover, locals believe that the Rajapur area, also known as ‘a grain basket’, will see minimum losses during the monsoon after the project’s completion.

Published: 12-04-2016 10:37

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