Delay in Seti river dam repair worries farming communitiesDelay in repair of the Seti river dam in Jaubari, Pokhara, has caused concerns among local farming communities.
Delay in repair of the Seti river dam in Jaubari, Pokhara, has caused concerns among local farming communities.
The dam’s infrastructure was heavily damaged by a flood last year. So far, the authorities have made no effort to fix the damage.
Local farmers said they will no be able to plant crops if the dam is no repaired before this year’s monsoon.
Balaram Kunwar, a local man, said there are many vegetable farmers in the area who rely on the dam’s canal system to water their crops.
If the dam is not restored, he said, the farming communities will be in trouble this monsoon.
With the dam walls compromised, there is a risk of flood in the area in case of heavy rainfall. The local small hydroelectricity project is also likely to be affected.
The dam, 80 metres long and 9 metres tall, was built 31 years ago with an assistance of Chinese government. The dam infrastructure was rarely maintained since its construction, which led to the last year’s disaster, say locals.
Officials at the Irrigation Development Division Office (IDDO) said the delay in dam repair was mainly caused by budget shortage.
The government released only Rs 7 million to repair the dam this fiscal year when the actual cost of the undertaking is estimated at Rs 100 million.
Govinda Bhurtel, the engineer of the IDDO, said even the tender invitation process was hit because of the insufficient budget to start the repair works.
The dam is not going to be fixed this year, he admitted.
The only thing that the office could do at this situation, he said, was to employ safety measures to prevent further damage to the dam.