The ongoing construction work of the drinking water project in Pathivara temple area has been halted after 80 per cent completion.

Disputes surfaced regarding the land where the main water tank was being constructed, leading to a halt of the ongoing work.

The project had begun last year with joint investment of government and locals in the areas. The government is bearing 70 per cent cost, while locals are bearing 30 per cent of the project cost. The project was being constructed by lifting the water from about four kilometre below to the settlement and temple area. The famous temple area has been facing acute shortage of drinking water for long.

It is said that Pathivara Devi Darshan Cable Car Pvt is claiming the land ownership where the water tank and other infrastructure were being constructed in full swing. The water tank with 50,000-litre capacity and pump house were constructed in the same land where the company was disputing for land ownership.

Following this, engineers of the consumers' committee and the federal drinking water and waste management project relocated the project site. However, the consumers' committee and representatives of the cable car company had directed suspension of the project after the completion of 50 per cent of construction work. Nanda Kumar Ojha, representative of the construction company, Prera Bishnu JV, Ilam, said land acquisition disputes led to a halt in the project time and again.

A meeting of the consumers' committee on July 25 had decided not to let construction of any structures in the area where the the water source was situated. Efforts to provide land for the project on behalf of the committee were under way, but the Cable Car Pvt Ltd is yet to respond.

A version of this article appears in the print on August 8 2021, of The Himalayan Times.