Over a decade into construction, Rani-Kulariya irrigation project moving at snail’s pace

Published On: March 22, 2023 04:42 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

BAJANI , March 22: Over a decade into construction, the national pride Rani-Jamara-Kulariya irrigation project has been moving forward slower than a snail. It has reached the completion of only less than 50 percent construction when the deadline nears expiry. The deadline will expire in the next fiscal year, 2023/24. The project funded by the World Bank aims to irrigate a total of 38,300 hectares of land.

The Rani side has seen only 18 percent progress while 20 percent has been over in the Gulariya part, said the project engineer Prem Lasiwa. Similarly, 65 percent work has been completed in Jamara.

He blamed the contractors for the delay. “Construction work started simultaneously in all three parts. But, the contractors have failed to work in uniformity. We are asking them to speed up the construction,” he said.

Three construction companies won the contracts. Of them, Gaurishankar Nirman Sewa and an Indian GVV company are jointly working in the Rani Kulo side.

Similarly, Ramechhap Nirman Sewa and Kanchharam Nirman Sewa are commissioned to jointly work in the Jamara part, and High Himalaya Hydro Construction Pvt Ltd has looked after the Kulariya side.

The construction companies blamed the Global COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis for the delay. As a result, the project cannot be completed within the deadline, said Tshering Sherpa, site in-charge for the Ramechhap Nirman Sewa. “We are at work. The deadline is nearing. Still, over 30 percent of construction remains,” he said. The company won the contract at Rs 540 million. 

Kumar Raj Shahi, chairperson of the Rani-Jamara-Kulariya irrigation system consumers’ main committee, accused negligence on the part of the contractors for the delay. “The contractors are responsible for the delay.”

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