61 per cent work at Sikta Project over

Nepalgunj, June 14

It has been 13 years since work on the national pride project — Sikta Irrigation Project — started in Banke. However, only 61 per cent work of the project has been completed so far.

Despite the government lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus, construction on the eastern canal of the project is under way, said project Chief Lok Bahadur Thapa. Renovation of the dilapidated canal at Duduwa has reached the last phase, according to Thapa.

Sikta Irrigation Project is the biggest irrigation project started by the government 13 years ago. With 45.25 kilometres western and 53-km eastern canals, the project aims to irrigate 42,000 hectare land in Banke.

The Initial estimated cost of the project was Rs 25 billion.

However, work on the major canal has yet to be completed. Until before the lockdown, the project had targeted 100 related tasks. But after imposition of the lockdown, only 50 per cent of that target has been achieved, said Thapa.

According to Thapa, Rs 15 billion has already been invested in the project so far. An amended masterplan with a budget estimation of Rs 39 billion has been made. The project is set to be completed in five years as per the amended plan.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 15, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.