DHANGADHI: Delayed monsoon is taking a toll on several rivers and rivulets in the Far-Western Region. Locals are suffering from acute shortage of potable water. The paddy seeds, too, are bearing the brunt.
Paddy cultivation has been hampered in the fertile tracts in Baitadi.
Shankardutta Shrestha, a local, complained that the water of Surnaya Gad — a stream — had dried up due to lack of rainfall. While, the hydropower project on the stream, too, is on the verge of closure. The
capacity of the unit has come down to only a couple of hours daily.
Accham, too, is facing a similar problem since the water level of Budhiganga, a tributary of the Karnali, has at its lowest ebb. No wonder, residents are having a tough time to cope up with the drought-like situation.
The water level of Kailash stream is also below normal, causing acute power crisis in the area.
Other streams in the district — Dhuliya, Lungreli Gad, Prabhali Gad, Paile Gad and Chhipe Gad — have completely dried up. While, the low water level of three big rivers — Mahakali, Seti and Karnali — is a growing cause for concern.
“The non-perennial rivers’ levels have gone down by half. In Kailali, too, the Khutiya, Mohana, Patharaiya and Kandra Ghuruwa have turned dry. Ditto for Syali Doda, Kandra and Chaudhar in Kanchanpur,” said Rajesh Mahato, field office chief, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Attariya.
The Mahakali is the source of sustenance for Kanchanpur. While, large parts of Kailali are dependant on the Karnali. A majority of the schools has been forced to
declare closure due to lack of drinking water.
Students are playing truant in Hemantabada VDC since they are busy fetching water from the Seti.
Doti, too, has not been spared.
Mahato reasoned that the fall in the Seti’s water level was due to lack of snowfall at Saipal Himal in Bajhang.
As per the Met department’s forecast, the monsoon is likely to hit the Far-West in another week’s time.
The two-week delay in the onset of monsoon, a phenomenon, which is being experienced across Asia, has raised the
spectre of acute rain deficiency, which does not augur well for the agrarian economy.