Lift irrigation project to benefit affected localsLocals affected by the construction of the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project will benefit from a lift irrigation project which the government has planned to implement together with the national pride project.
Locals affected by the construction of the Bheri Babai Diversion Multipurpose Project will benefit from a lift irrigation project which the government has planned to implement together with the national pride project.
The multipurpose project will divert 40 cubic metres of water per second from the Bheri River to the Babai River to irrigate 60,000 hectares of land round the year in Banke and Bardia districts besides generating 48 MW of energy.
The government has planned to construct the lift irrigation facility for the people who will be affected by the construction of the power generation plant in Surkhet, Salyan and Bardia. Former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had inaugurated the powerhouse of the Bheri Babai Project in April, paving the way for the construction of the much delayed national pride project.
Director Prakash Chandra Pokharel of the Regional Irrigation Directorate said that lift irrigation would be provided in 20 village development committees (VDCs) in Surkhet, three in Bardia and three in Salyan. “We plan to implement the lift irrigation project from the current fiscal year,” he added. The plan is being implemented under the name of the Bheri Corridor Irrigation Project.
According to Pokharel, the Regional Irrigation Directorate will implement the plan in 20 out of the 26 VDCs affected by the national pride project. The project itself will implement the plan in the other six VDCs.
The plan will irrigate 15 hectares of farmland situated at an elevation of 1 km above the surface of the Bheri River. “Priority will be given to areas which have been suffering from drought,” said Pokharel, adding that the lift could be operated either with solar power or electricity depending on the capacity of the pump. The directorate said that the Bheri Corridor Irrigation Project aims to irrigate 6,000 hectares of land extending for 125 km from Ghoreta to Ghagun in Surkhet district via Bardia. The project is scheduled to be completed in five years. It has been allocated a budget of Rs50 million for the current fiscal year.
The diversion project is expected to cost Rs16 billion and is slated to be completed in four years. The national pride project is estimated to generate Rs4.50 billion in revenues annually—Rs2 billion from electricity and Rs2.50 billion from agriculture.