Paddy plantation hit hard by lack of rain

DAILEKH: Paddy could not be planted in nearly 57,000 hectares of arable land in western part of the district this season due to long spell of drought.

"We could not plant paddy this year due to the lack of sufficient rainfall on time. The fertile land could be of no use for us this year," the locals said.

Suryanath Yogi, chief at the District Agriculture Development Office, Dailekh, said paddy could not be planted in some areas of the district due to the lack of sufficient rainfall. "Those areas were fertile and were producing large quantity of paddy in the previous years," Yogi added.

Bharat Bista, a local, said though the Department of Irrigation had allocated Rs 5 million for the construction of irrigation project, it had not been completed yet.

Tilak Rijal, chairman of the irrigation project users' committee, said the paddy fields in Rawatkot, Raniban, Bherikalika and Bhum VDCs in the district have remained untilled because of the lack of rainfall.

Locals blame the negligence of the users' committee and the contractor for the delay in the construction of the project.