Lack of funds puts Imadol water supply project in limbo

Lalitpur, February 22:

The water supply project at Imadole VDC of Lalitpur district was initiated around eight years ago with a view to supplying piped water to Imadole residents, but the project is yet to materialise thanks to the government’s low budgetary allocation.

The government has spent Rs 8.3 million in the project till date. But the efforts of seven years have gone in vain. The water supply project was started in 1999 to supply piped-water to around 9,122 residents of Imadole. The initial estimated cost of the project was Rs 12.2 million — needed for the instillation of 125 pipelines.

Purna Bahadur Bista, unit member of the Nepali Congress (NC) at Imadole, while talking about the project, said: “The 250 cubic kilolitre reservoir tank was set up on the bank of Godawari River to supply water through pipes for a few months.”

“The pipelines passed though private land and the land owners destroyed the them,” Bista said. He said if the technical part of the project had been sound, it would not have failed.

Amir Man Palikhe, chief at the Drinking Water and Sanitation Division Office, Lalitpur, said: “The lack of budget has hampered the project over the years.”

The estimated cost of the project goes up every year by upto 10 per cent due to inflation. He said limited budget not only made the progress of the project slow, but also diverted finances.

In the current fiscal year, the government has again allocated Rs one million for the implementation of the project. In the last fiscal year, Rs 0.3 million of the allocated budget was utilised only for the maintenance of the project.

Palikhe added that 25 per cent of work had already been accomplished as of now. “In the past seven years, the population of the area has increased beyond our expectations. Hence we have been focusing at supplying water to limited households,” he said.

Said Bishnu Bahadur Bista, president of Consumer Committee of the project: “The numerous delays in the project implementation has made us doubt if we can ever supply pipe water in the area. Since the locals here have alternative sources of water [ the wells], they are now indifferent to the project.”