PARBAT, June 27: More than a dozen irrigation projects in Parbat have not moved ahead because of a new working procedure prepared by the Department of Irrigation (DoI) which goes against the Public Procurement Act (PPA).
Over a dozen medium-size irrigation projects and projects based on new technology have been affected after the DoI and Western Irrigation Division Office failed to hasten administrative procedures though less than a month is remaining in the current fiscal year.
The projects, which have already been approved by the National Planning Commission (NPC), are lying stranded as it took months to get approval of the department and the sub-division office.
According to the new working procedure, the regional sub-division office has to send projects okayed by the National Planning Commission (NPC) to the department for approval. The department gives approval to the regional office toward the fiscal year-end only after months of administrative procedures. This lengthy procedure is affecting project execution.
According to PPA, projects worth Rs 10 million, Rs 30 million and more than Rs 30 million can be approved by planning officer, under secretary and joint secretary, respectively.
“The lengthy procedure has affected execution of process. The situation has worsened so much that we have no progress report in the entire fiscal year,” Rajendra Shrestha, the chief engineer of Irrigation Development Sub-Division Office, Parbat, said. “Many people ask us why progress has not been made. The new procedure has made things more complex.”
Parbat has 21 medium-scale projects, 22 small-scale projects and 16 projects based on new technology in different phases of implementation, according to Shrestha. Of them, execution of 23 projects - five medium-scale, 10 based on new technology and eight small-scale - is yet to begin.
Though some projects have already been authorized, they have not moved ahead as representatives of consumers group are yet to come into our contract.
Even if the budget has been authorized, the sub-division office cannot execute the project unless it receives go-ahead from the department.
The sub-division office estimates that 30 percent and 10 percent work of Ratikhola and Gyadi irrigation projects will be completed in the current fiscal year. Similarly, Bhorle Irrigation Project and Phalebas Irrigation Project are inviting bids on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The department has already awarded contract to build Majhkulo Irrigation Project.
According to the office, the Ghanghane Jaibir Project will be completed within the current fiscal year.