KATHMANDU, Jan 19: Minister for Irrigation Deepak Giri and Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae jointly inaugurated Nepal-Bharat Friendship Irrigation Project in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
Under the project, 2,700 Shallow Tube Well (STW) Irrigation Systems have been installed in 12 Tarai districts, according to a press release issued by the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu.
The project was executed by the Ground Water Resources Development Board (GWRDB) under the Ministry of Irrigation which provided technical and financial supervision in implementation of the project.
The Government of India provided financial assistance of Rs 256.72 million toward procurement and installations of pumps in Saptari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Rupendehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts. The project, which stated in January 2015, concluded in December 2016 as per the schedule, according to the release.
The installation of shallow tube wells in Tarai has started benefitting farmers who earlier depended on natural rainwater for irrigation. "Now, all season irrigation facility is available to the farmers in these districts and this is likely to irrigate about 8,100 hectares of land," the release claimed, adding that the project would also help in upliftment of socio-economic status of a large number of farming households by augmenting the production of wheat, rice and seasonal fruits and vegetables.
The Government of India has, in the past, extended financial assistance for installation of deep tube wells and shallow tube wells in various parts of Tarai region of Nepal, recognizing the potential for growth in the agriculture sector of Nepal with enhanced facilities, the release added. "In this regard, development of 1,000 shallow tube wells in Dhanusha and Mahottari was completed in 2004 which benefitted around 3,000 households enabling irrigation of 3,000 hectares of arable land," the Indian mission in Nepal said in the release.
Similarly, 22 deep tube wells were installed in Jhapa (5), Sunsari (5), Saptari (7), and Siraha (5) districts in 2008, benefitting around 1,100 farming households by ensuring irrigation in 880 hectares of land, it claimed. "Likewise, 350 shallow tube wells have also been installed in Siraha with the financial assistance Indian government, benefitting about 950 households by facilitating irrigation in 1,050 hectares."
The multi-sectoral and multi-dimensional India-Nepal Economic Cooperation Program has been contributing in the development of Nepal in the form of various large and small development projects, according to the press release. "These development projects, mainly in the sectors of education, health and infrastructure development, have been undertaken in response to local needs and in partnership with Nepal to support socio-economic development of Nepal," the release added.