Construction of Jiri Lake in uncertainty

Charikot, June 9: The construction of the man-made Jiri Lake, a pride project for the Bagmati Province government, has become uncertain. 

Although it was announced two years ago as a prestigious project for the province, the construction work of the lake is currently in limbo.

The Bagmati Province government had allocated Rs. 150 million in the last fiscal year to start the construction of the artificial Jiri Lake. However, the construction work could not progress, and the funds were frozen. Even though the provincial government allocated Rs. 30 million in the current fiscal year, no progress has been made.

The Division Irrigation Office in Dolakha completed the land survey for the construction of the lake last year. After gathering records from the Survey Office and the Land Revenue Office in the district, it was determined that around 700 ropanis of land would need to be acquired for the lake construction.

The office has sent the project’s land acquisition and area determination report to the Ministry of Water Supply, Energy, and Irrigation of Bagmati Province. The ministry forwarded the report to the federal Ministry of Forests and Environment. 

The Ministry of Forests and Environment requested the consultant to resubmit the report with necessary revisions through the Division Irrigation Office Dolakha. 

The consultant company has made the required modifications and sent the report back to the Ministry of Water Supply, Energy, and Irrigation, said Rupesh Mahat, chief of the Division Irrigation Office Dolakha.

According to Mahat, the data collection for the land acquisition required for the lake construction has been completed and sent to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation of the federal government through the Office of the Chief Minister.

The Ministry of Irrigation will present it to the Cabinet, and once approved by the Cabinet, the work on the environmental study report will proceed, he said.

The office has reported that for the construction of the lake, which will be 1 kilometre long and 200 metres wide, 151 plots of land within the submergence area and 339 plots for necessary infrastructure around the lake and other purposes will need to be acquired.

According to the DPR (Detailed Project Report), the construction cost of this lake is estimated to be Rs. 3.17 billion. 

The office has said that the lake will be highly attractive and significant from a tourism perspective. 

Jiri, a tourist town in Dolakha known as the gateway to Everest and the Switzerland of Nepal, has seen a decline, and it is hoped that the Jiri Lake project will help revive its former glory.

In a bid to revive the dwindling tourism business and ensure the construction of Jiri Lake, locals recently sent messages to the former mayor of Jiri Municipality, the provincial assembly member elected from Dolakha, and the federal parliament member, asking when the construction of Jiri Lake would commence.

Mitra Jirel, Mayor of Jiri Municipality, has said that the municipality is actively working towards the construction of Jiri Lake. T

he municipality has requested the Chief Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Energy, and the Prime Minister’s Office to advance the construction of the lake.

He said that the municipality is ready to assist in the construction of the lake, which will be a point of pride for the municipality and an attractive tourist destination for the district. 

He also said that the process was halted at the federal government level after completing all preliminary work and reaching the stage of land acquisition.

Mayor Jirel also stressed that the municipality had urged both federal and provincial assembly members to push forward the construction process of Jiri Lake, which is expected to transform the face of Jiri.

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