Repair works at Gandak Canal delayed by India

- SHANKER ACHARYA, PARSA

Jun 17, 2018-

Nepali famers that plan to utilise the Gandak Irrigation Canal during paddy plantation this season might face difficulties irrigating their fields as Indian officials have yet to complete maintenance works at the different sections of the canal that fall within the Indian territory.

According to Subodh Kushwa, acting chief of Narayani Irrigation Mangement Division, the office is not able to give an estimate of when the water will be released via the canal due to unfinished maintenance works.

“As the Indian authorities are carrying out repair works at two locations, we are not sure about the exact schedule when the water will be released at the canal,” said Kushwa. “However, the Indian side has assured us that they will release water for irrigation by the end of June. Therefore, we have to be hopeful on that date.” Kushwa added that the division office will inform about the schedule within a week.

The construction work is also going on at two locations on the Nepali territory. The Road Department is building bridges at those places. However, the division office has said that the construction sites at the two locations will be cleared if the Indian authorities release water into the canal.

The Gandak Canal, the key irrigation lifeline of Tarai region was damaged by the massive floods that struck the southern plains last August. Although, Nepali side has completed the maintenance work the Indian counterpart has yet to complete the repair works at multiple locations.

The flood had damaged the canal at nearly two dozen locations on the Indian side. Although the canal was damaged at around three dozen locations on the Nepali side, the damaged infrastructure were repaired within four months.

Due to dillydally by the Indian side, Nepali farmers were unable to irrigate their fields while planting wheat during winter. Now, they are unlikely to get irrigation facility while plating paddy, the major corp of the population residing in the southern plains. As per the bilateral Gandak Canal Agreement between Nepal and India, the latter should release water at the canal by end of June for paddy plantation and by December end for wheat plantation. India has to release 850 cusec of water in the canal towards Nepal, as per the same agreement. Around 31,400 hectares of land in Parsa, Bara and Rautahat is irrigated via the Gandak Canal.

Published: 17-06-2018 08:36

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