Mukti Prasad Neupane/Republica Under-construction water collection tank on the bank of Kaligandaki River, in Palpa in this recent picture.
PALPA, May 31: Tansen is popular for its natural beauty, rich history and culture. However, it is also equally infamous for water scarcity. The headquarters of Palpa has long been struggling for fulfilling its water needs. The shortage has been not only affecting people’s normal life but also its tourism industry. Now, the solution is underway.
The Kaligandaki Water Project is being pitched as an answer to the town’s water woes. The project involves pumping water to Tansen from the Kaligandaki River. According to the project officials, 38 percent of the project is already over. The project after completion is expected to fulfill the town’s water needs for the coming 15 years.
Five pumping stations pump will pump the water to main tank reservoir in Tansen. The water will go through purification process on the way. And finally it will reach the distribution tank in Basantapur.
Water bore is presently drilled at Baumagauha section of the Kaligandaki River that falls in Tansen Municipality – 13. A collector well will be constructed at the site, with a capacity of producing 40 liters per second.
Keshab Lal Shakya, chief at the Drinking Water and Sanitation Division said that the Tansen Water Project is the biggest water pumping project in the country. “This project is going to solve the problem of drinking water in Tansen,” he said.
He said that that the water of Kaligandaki River will be processed and purified before distributed it. “River water is not safe to drink directly. So it will be purified before distribution,” Shakya said. “Significant portion of the work has been done. Rest will be completed soon,” he added.
According to Shakya, the collector well has gone two half meters down in the river. It will go upto six meters. “In one hour, 138,000 liters of water will be pumped. The water pipe is eight inches thick,” he informed.
Water from the project site will be pumped to main water tank in Basantpur of Tansen through five pumps along from Kaligandaki River.
“Five pumping stations pump enough water. The water goes through purification process on the way. And finally it reaches the tank in Basantapur, from where it will be distributed,” Shakya explained.
November 23 deadline
The division office has stated that water distribution in Tansen will begin from November 23. All preparation has been made to meet the deadline, according to Shakya. “We are pretty sure that we can meet the deadline. Tansen will be relieved of water woes from the set date. Water will be distributed from 7th of Mangsir,” he said. He added that Rs 70.5 million has already been invested for the project, while the government has allocated Rs 390.9 million for the entire project.
“To pump the water from Kaligandaki to Tansen, the project needs huge amount of electricity. Around 20 million rupees has been spent on building necessary infrastructures to power the project. We have fixed 6.5 kilowatt of power capacity,” Shakya said.
According to him, infrastructure for water procession, purification is yet to be constructed. It is also very costly, he said.
“We have started working on water processing. We will be installing machineries, tools, and building infrastructures for the process. In the first step, the river water will be tested and then it will go through the water treatment plant. We have to take care of the water quality very carefully,” he elaborated.
On Monday, stakeholders made a field visit to the project site. Deepak Neupanne, representative of the contract company stated that the work is going on speedily. “We have to meet the given deadline, work is going on very smoothly,” he said. “If we are delayed by chance, it will be a delay by a few weeks, not more than that. We hope to provide drinking water at the most from December of this year,” he said.
According to Neupanne, almost fifty percent of work has been over. All mechanisms are set to finalize the project, he said. “Pipes have come; other necessary materials are already there. Water tank has been made, stations are under construction, everything is going on pretty well,” he said. “People are excited over it. Water will be released soon,” he added.
Over the completion of the project, consumer in Tansen would be able to get it at the cost of Rs 600 for 10,000 liters of water. Currently, there is demand of 2.5 million liters of water per day in Tansen.
Chakor Man Shakya, President of Tansen Drinking Water Consumers Committee shared that only 1.5 million liters of water is available in Tansen currently. This water supply is also being supplied to the town by four similar water lifting projects. “When the Kaligandaki Water Project becomes a reality, Tansen will be relieved of its water woes,” he added.