FPI to replace old irrigation systems

Lalitpur, September 26:

The conventional approaches to building crossectional river structures for hydropower plants and irrigation canals will be replaced by a system of “Floating Pipe Intake” if it proves economically viable and adheres to the principles of hydraulics and flotation. The FPI model proposed as an new concept by Hiranya Prasad Sharma has been a research subject for professors at the department of civil engineering, Pulchowk Campus, for the last two months. After studyinging the properties of the model in the laboratory, professors at the Institute of Engineering (IOE) are ready to make a prototype for testing. Dr Jit Narayan Nayak, professor at the IOE and also the project guide said the proposed system does not need any water diversion structures as like in conventional approaches of making intakes.

“This one hand would reduce the cost of construction while on the other would also decrease the risk of damage during high floods, which will make the structure cheap and less prone to risk,” Prof Nayak said. The scope of the proposed intake is in the field of water resources engineering involving water supply, irrigation and hydropower engineering sectors. The proposed intake may be used for abstracting the required flow of water from perennial rivers for the needs of hill water consumers and non-consumers downstreams. Hiranya Prasad Sharma is hopeful that the system would perform smoothly in a prototype as it did in the lab. “It will help reduce poverty and our dependency on food grains from other countries,” said Sharma. The FPI will contribute to increasing the agricultural productivity of hill farmers and improve their socio-economic condition, he added.

In an agriculture based country like Nepal, land irrigation system is not only worthwhile but also quite essential for food sufficiency. The government, together with the department of Irrigation, has been trying since the first five-year plan to bring vast non-irrigated areas of the country under irrigation but there still remain many dry uplands in hilly and mountainous regions. If the proposed FPI proves feasible then vast non-irrigated land can be brought under

irrigation within a low budget structure.