Cracks appear in Seti dam; likely to collapse

Pokhara, January 4:

Seti Dam in Pokhara is in a dilapidated condition for want of maintenance. The dam constructed at Jaubari of Pokhara-16 with the assistance from the Chinese government 25 years ago has developed cracks and holes.

“The dam has a hole in its main part. The size of the hole is increasing gradually and there is a risk of the dam collapsing,” chief at the Division Irrigation Office (DIO) in Syangja, Bishnu Prasad Parajuli, said, adding, “Though the life of the cement used to build the dam has not expired, the dam itself is wearing out due to the lime-laden silt in the Seti River.”

Though the hole was plugged with galvanized iron wires last year, the plug got damaged by the flow of water within a year, the DIO said.

A cost estimate of Rs 1.5 crore for the maintenance of the dam was sent to the Department of Irrigation last year, but there was no response, the DIO said. The water collected in the dam irrigates 1,030 hectares of land in Pokhara and Lekhnath cities.

The Nepal Electricity Authority, carrying the water from the dam to its powerhouse at Nadipur of Pokhara-3, has been generating 1,500 kilowatts of electricity. Technicians at the DIO said the dam was wearing out, as the government had not allotted funds for its maintenance.

The DIO was shifted from Pokhara to Syangja a few years ago.

The Department of Irrigation is not sending any fund except Rs 100,000 for the security guards, Parajuli said.

“If only the farmers using water from the dam for irrigation purpose are made to pay for the service and the funds thus collected are used for maintenance of the dam, the condition of dam could be improved,” technicians said.