Half  a dozen big solar lift irrigation projects stalled

Published On: March 9, 2023 06:32 PM NPT By: Govinda KC

BIRENDRANAGAR, March 9: Half a dozen big Solar Lift Water and Irrigation Projects funded by the Government  of Nepal and donor agencies remain closed since August 2022 due to the lack of implementation of drinking water and irrigation projects in the remote villages of Dailekh.

The projects built by spending millions of  rupees were halted because no one showed interest in repairing and bringing them back into operation.

Five solar lifts built in Chamunda Bindrasaini Municipality of Dailekh have been closed. The solar lift technology built with the purpose of providing drinking water to the settlements in the hills from the sources of water has failed due to the closure. The solar lifts built in Dailekh are mostly closed.

Khada Lift Water Supply Project in Chamunda Bindrasaini Municipality-8, Dhupidhara Lift Water Supply project in Municipality-6, Nawa Lift Water Supply project in Municipality-4 and Lift Water Supply project in Municipality-9 are closed. Similarly, the Roshani Danda Lift Drinking Water Project has been partially running, compared to other four projects. The construction of another Karnali Lift Water Supply Project is underway. Due to the lack of access to electricity in the municipality, there is a problem with the solar-operated water supply lifts.

Even though the lift projects are failing in the district, the government has not stopped the construction of large lift projects worth millions of rupees, due to which such projects which are built without recognizing the technical and geographical conditions, millions of rupees from the state coffers have gone down the river every year.

Mayor Ganesh Kumar Shahi of Chamunda Bindrasaini Municipality said that the people are facing the problem of drinking water as the lift projects operating in the municipality are often closed.

“The lift water systems operating within the municipality have failed. Now the government should bring a local level improvement program rather than a lift,” Shahi said, “If the government prioritizes the municipality's biggest project, the Majhuwa water supply project, drinking water will reach homes of locals from 1 to 9 wards of the municipality.”

In Chamunda Bindrasaini, lift drinking water projects have been operational since 2018. Locals say that the projects built by spending millions of rupees failed when there was a problem in the solar system technology in a short period of time.

As soon as winter sets in, there is a shortage of drinking water in five municipalities in the western region of Dailekh. Even after years of lack of drinking water and irrigation, the local government has not done anything, the solar lift water supply and irrigation project, which was built with the help of the Nepal government and donor agencies, has been closed.

With the closure of the Solar Lift Water and Irrigation Projects, the locals, who were happy for a few months, have returned to their old sorrows. Shanti BK of Dhupidhara Water Lift Project Consumer Committee of  Jambukandh said that since the water supply is not available from the lift, the locals are dependent  on rivers and wells for drinking water.

After the closure of the lift projects, the residents of Dailekh are forced to walk for two hours to fetch water. Locals are waiting for the reconstruction plans. Although the government has declared to provide everyone with clean drinking water at the rate of 65 liters per day, the daily life of the communities here has become difficult due to the lack of long-term planning.

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