Locals happy after irrigation facilities reach villages in Jajarkot

Jajarkot, May 19: Residents of Bheri Municipality are delighted as irrigation facility has reached their villages. Locals in Kustara, Rokayagaun and Batalagaun within the municipality are pleased to receive water for irrigation from the Kutu Lift Irrigation Project.

The Karnali Integrated Irrigation Development Project launched the lift irrigation scheme to alleviate the villagers’ water scarcity. Since the Chhahri River water supply is insufficient for 95 households in Batalagun, 60 households in Rokayagaun and 65 households in Kustara who used to depend on the murky water from the Bheri River, are now receiving irrigation facilities from the lifting process.

However, about 300 households in Bahungaon, Rawatgaon, Gosaigaon and Hitangaon in the same ward are yet to benefit from lift irrigation, so their land remains barren.

Engineer Kabindra Rawal of the Karnali Integrated Irrigation Development Project said that the project started construction work on January 29, 2024, to solve the long-standing water problem. After signing a contract with Land Construction Service at Madi-2, Rolpa, with a budget of Rs. 61.1 million, the project is set to be completed by January 29, 2026.

According to Rawal, around 70 per cent of the work has been completed on four schemes. The Kudu Lift Irrigation has been implemented to provide irrigation to arable land and improve the income of self-sufficient farmers through agriculture. 

In villages suffering from a severe lack of drinking water, the lift irrigation water has reached the settlements and is being used as drinking water out of necessity.

After facing power outages, solar panels have been installed to provide electricity, ensuring water reaches the homes in Rokayagaun and Batalagaun and the construction of reservoir tanks is underway. 

Once construction is completed, arable land will have access to irrigation. Four schemes of lift irrigation are currently underway in Rokayagaun, Kustara, Batalagaun of Bheri Municipality-11, and Lamitara of Bheri Municipality-1.

Water from the lift irrigation will irrigate 71 hectares of land. Yagya Bahadur Batala, the Ward Chairperson of Bheri Municipality-13, expressed regret over the long-standing water scarcity faced by the residents and assured that it will be resolved within the next two years. 

“Once the water reached the village, people started planting vegetables. If the demand for water increases in these settlements the water brought for irrigation purposes can be used for drinking as well,” he said.

Previously, the water brought from the Bheri River in buckets was insufficient for both humans and livestock. However, with the arrival of water in the village locals are feeling relieved. Once regular water access is established, improvements in agricultural productivity and production quality are expected through organised farming practices.

The local government has not been successful in effectively investing the allocated budget in water projects since its first term. Despite construction being completed five years ago, the ponds built for lift irrigation by the Department of Water Irrigation and Energy Development have not been able to provide water.

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