Rautahat, June 24
Built to boost agriculture productivity, an irrigation canal in Rautahat’s Gadhimai Municipality has now been filled up and turned into a road.
Interestingly enough, it happened at the initiative of a Provincial Assembly member. According to reports, Rautahat Constituency 4 PA member Abdul Kalam Azad persuaded the canal users’ committee to fill up the 1,200-metre long canal of the Bagmati Irrigation Project to build a road over it.
Local Narendra Thakur expressed his concerns about the act of building a road at the expense of the existing canal. On his part, Bagmati Irrigation Project Chief Binaya Gami has described the decision to develop a road by effacing an existing infrastructure as illegal.
‘After we learnt of the act, we visited the site and instructed the ones involved in building the road to stop construction work and clean up and restore the canal to its previous condition,” Gami said, clarifying that construction of any facility in the canal area without seeking prior approval of the authorities concerned was illegal.
Further, the irrigation project chief also informed that his office had sought clarification from the canal users’ committee, which was involved in the road construction. The canal irrigates 30 hectare farmland.
In his defence, PA member Azad, however, said he opted to build a road over the canal as the latter had been out of commission for long. “As the canal was not in operation, we decided to build a road there instead, by digging a small channel by the side, that’s all,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.