Ramechhap, March 27
Local bodies in Ramechhap haven’t included construction of drinking water projects on their priority list, citing lack of fund and manpower.
“As we don’t have enough fund and manpower, starting a large project such as water projects, which cost tens of millions of rupees, is out of question,” said Manthali Municipality Chief Ramesh Kumar Basnet, blaming the Drinking Water Division Office for the lack of fund.
On his part, Drinking Water Division Office Ramechhap Engineer Nawaraj Satyal expressed his helplessness. “Local representatives come to us asking if any project is being initiated, but we don’t have anything to say,” said Satyal, adding his office was ready to start construction of projects if they got enough budget.
“We can start dozens of projects in just one year if we were to receive enough budget,” he said.
Amidst the water crisis in many villages such as Pakarbas, Bhirpani, Bhaluwajor, Rampur and Ramechhap in the district, locals are depending on river water. The locals are paying up to two rupees per litre for water ferried on tractors from the Sunkoshi and Tamakoshi rivers.
Those who can’t buy water have to make a long haul up to five hours to get a pitcher of water. “It takes hours to reach the nearest water source on foot. On top of it, there is always a long queue of people waiting to fetch water,” said Krishna Bahadur Shrestha of Rampur, adding the locals had to spend an entire day to fetch water.
Lately, water lifting projects are in demand in the district. There are a number of water lift projects in the water-crisis hit villages, while more projects are being constructed. Lately, Red Cross completed two water projects in Rampur, one of the worst-hit places. Similarly, large projects are under construction in order to solve the water woes of Pakarbas and Bhirpani residents.
A version of this article appears in print on March 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.