Sunday, 11 April, 2021

Rapti basin plan to yield hydel, irrigation benefits


By Our Correspondent

Dang, Nov. 10: The government has formulated a master plan – including hydroelectricity generation, and high dams for irrigation projects - for the development of Rapti River basin. Water and Energy Commission said that the master plan had included programmes and projects that would directly benefit the areas in Rolpa, Pyuthan, Dang, Kapilvastu and Banke districts in Province 5.
Former Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shital Babu Regmi said that the west Rapti had high development potential and could be utilised in multi-purpose activities.
"The master plan includes high-dam in Ghodagaun and bring water in Dang Valley, hydroelectricity project in Naumure, irrigation project for Kapilvastu from Bhalubang dam and Badkapath irrigation project," he said.
Water of Rapti River
can be brought to Dang through a tunnel from Ghodagaun. The water can be used in drinking and irrigation. Similarly, Naumure Hydroelectricity Project, which is in discussion for the past many years, has a potential of generating 245 MW electricity by constructing 187-metre-high dam.
Likewise, a 60-metre high dam in Bhalubang area of Dang district can facilitate irrigation in Kapilvastu district.
The 340 km long Rapti River offers hydroelectricity project in upper-stream and irrigation in down-stream areas. The study has shown that there are 11 potential areas for hydroelectricity projects. Statistics show that about 4 billion square metre water flows to India from Rapti River alone.
The master plan mentions that the irrigation and hydel project will reduce the amount of water that flows to India. About 45 per cent water of the river would be used in Nepal and 55 per cent would still flow to India.
Minister for Energy Barsha Man Pun said that the government has given high priority to the energy-sector development and Rapti Diversion Project was the main priority. The ministry is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development. Similarly, Chief Minister of Province 5 Shankar Pokhrel also said that his government has accorded priority to water supply and irrigation infrastructure.