Irrigation project in Parsa left in limboProject halted for eight years as Parsa park has not given permission to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment.
An irrigation project that aims to water around 2,100 hectares of land in Parsa district has been left in limbo.
Construction work of Ghore Masan Shitalpur Irrigation Project has been halted for the past eight years as Parsa National Park has not been cooperating in the project’s completion. The irrigation project kicked off in the fiscal year 2015-16 with an aim to irrigate 2,100 hectares of land in Ward No 5 of Thori Rural Municipality and wads 1, 2 and 5 of Jira Bhawani Rural Municipality.
According to Jari Lama, chairman of the then Subarna VDC, the project came to a halt as the Parsa National Park did not give permission to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment.
“Since the intake of the irrigation project lies in the core area of the protected area, we need the park’s support and permission to complete the project,” said Lama.
The irrigation project plans to bring water from the Ghode Masan stream that passes through the national park by constructing a 25 kilometre-long canal.
“We spent a large amount of money to construct a pond for water diversion as building a dam inside the national park was not allowed. A total of Rs 13.6 million provided by the government has already been spent in the irrigation project. But the consumers’ committee could not continue work without the permission of the national park,” said Lama. He urged the authorities concerned to take the necessary initiatives and complete the project that will greatly benefit local farmers.
The federal government released Rs 13.6 million for the irrigation project in the fiscal year 2015-16. The project kicked off soon after.
“Construction of the canal outside the national park was going on in full swing but we could not work inside the national park,” said Surya Koirala, secretary of the consumers’ committee. “The water resources and irrigation ministry wrote to the national park, urging it to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the irrigation project. But the national park did not take any initiatives.”
Meanwhile, Santosh Bhagat, the spokesperson of Parsa National Park, says he is not aware of the issue.
“I got posted here only a few months ago. I can speak about it only after I talk about the issue with other park officials,” said Bhagat.