Nepal | July 08, 2020

MoEWRI seeks Rs 382.60m to reconstruct flood-hit infrastructure

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, August 15

The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI) has sought Rs 382.60 million from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) citing that it needs to immediately reconstruct the infrastructure that was damaged by recent floods and landslides across the country.

Speaking at a press conference today, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barsha Man Pun mentioned that the MoEWRI has forwarded a
request letter to the Finance Ministry seeking the aforementioned amount.
Earlier, MoEWRI had formed a committee to find out the exact loss that was caused by the recent floods and landslides. The committee was formed under the authority of the Department of Water Resources and Irrigation (DoWRI).

As per the report of the DoWRI, the department has prepared a short-term and long-term work plan for the reconstruction of the affected structures. The DoWRI had forwarded the investigation report to the ministry which mentions that the government needs to immediately invest Rs 382.60 million for short-term temporary reconstruction and Rs 2.11 billion for permanent long-term reconstruction work.

Pun further claimed that as the government had installed equipment that alerts people about imminent floods and landslides in various places, there was less damage to physical infrastructure this year. “The government, through the DoWRI, did its best to minimise the damages,” he said, adding the damage caused is less than that anticipated by the government.

In the last fiscal year, the  Finance Ministry had allocated Rs five billion for the reconstruction of the damaged power- and irrigation-related projects. However, the MoF has allocated Rs two billion in ongoing fiscal and all the budget has been transferred to the provincial and local bodies. So, the MoEWRI needs to coordinate with the provincial and local governments for the reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure.

“Most damages have been caused as the rivers in recent years have changed their course, so the concerned government agencies and ministries need to develop an integrated plan to reduce the damage caused by floods and landslides.”

In mid-July, floods wreaked havoc across the Tarai and  mostly affected Rautahat,
Sarlahi, Mahottari and Dhanusha districts. The floods swept away settlements, various transmission lines, substations and powerhouses in hilly districts, displacing hundreds of households and destroying hundreds of hectares of agricultural lands, among others.

A version of this article appears in print on August 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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