Ill-timed canal construction hits rice plantation

Rautahat, July 28

Farmers at Madhopur of Madhav Narayan Rural Municipality in Rautahat district have been  affected due to construction of an irrigation canal in the middle of paddy plantation season.

The construction of the 100 metres long concrete canal has blocked the SR 7 canal under the Bagmati Irrigation Project, affecting paddy plantation in the area.

Interestingly, the construction work is being carried out without approval from the project at a time when the new fiscal year has just started.

“As it is an inopportune time to construct a canal, we met project officials with the complaint only to know that they had no knowledge of the ongoing construction work. Later, we learnt that the construction was being carried out at the behest of Dev Narayan Bhagat, an influential figure in the locality,” said Harekrishna Yadav, a local farmer. Yadav added, “Though the project officials described the construction of the canal as unauthorised, it seems the construction work is taking place in collusion with technicians of the project for some personal financial gains.”

Jafir Alam, engineer at the project, made it clear that no permission was given for construction of the canal. “Though we’ve told them to stop the construction work, they are defying our call,” he said.

Annapurna Water Consumers’ Committee, Madhopur Chairperson Jaya Narayan Sah, said Bhagat had once approached him with an idea of constructing a canal. He added that no contract had been signed in that regard. Sah also accused Bhagat of taking advantage of his absence in office.