Central Tarai faces wheat crop peril as irrigation canal remains unrepaired

January 06, 2018

The Himalayan Times, 6 Jan 2018 

Wheat crop cultivated in 76,500 hectares in the central Tarai districts – Parsa, Bara, and Rautahat- has been affected due to lack of irrigation facility.

A section of Gandak canal on the Indian territory, facilitating irrigation of the crops in central Tarai of Nepal, was damaged by flood and landslide during August 2017 and is yet to be repaired.

“The crops face a threat as the Indian officials failed to repair a section of the Gandak irrigation canal structure,” said Rajendra Prasad Saha, Division Chief of the Narayani Irrigation Management Division Office, Bahuari, “some 100 kilometres of the irrigation canal has been damaged.”

As per the Gandak Irrigation Canal Agreement signed between Nepal and India, water was supposed to be released within December 25, 2017.

Farmers have been growing wheat on 39,000 hectares in Parsa, 29,000 hectares in Bara, and 15,500 hectares in Rautahat.

The District Agricultural Development Offices in the region informed that 25 to 30 per cent of wheat crop will be affected in these districts this year due to the lack of water for irrigation.

Meanwhile, farmers have started relying on in-house small irrigation projects. However, the crops have not seen adequate supply of water from small irrigation projects.

Earlier, the flood harrowed a devastation equivalent to Rs 750 million to the irrigation canal on the Nepali territory at 36 places. However, the damaged sections of the canal in the Nepali territory were repaired on time.

As per the Gandak agreement, India shall release 850 Cusecs water in the Gandak River on the Nepali territory. However, India has not been able to provide the aforementioned volume of water as per the agreement