Panchthar hydels not releasing water causes rivers to dry out

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November 27, 2019

Panchthar : Local rivers in the district are drying after hydropower projects’ failure to release mandated water back into the rivers.

According to Hydropower Development Policy, 2001, hydropower projects are required to release at least 10 per cent or higher of the minimum monthly average discharge of the river or the minimum required quantum as identified in the environmental impact assessment study report.

However, power producers in the district have been neglecting the rule, harming the rivers and thereby the surrounding environment.

According to locals, Lower Hewa Khola Hydropower Project developed by Mountain Hydro Nepal Pvt Ltd that started producing electricity two months ago has disregarded the regulation causing the river to dry out.

Similarly, Panchthar Power Company operated Hewa Khola ‘A’ Hydroelectricity Project has also failed to release water back into the river. Likewise, Rairang Hydro, constructed over Iwa River has also neglected the rules.

The lack of water caused by the dereliction of obligation by the hydel over Hewa Khola and Iwa Khola, the rivers are going dry and this is severely impacting the marine habitat and the larger environment.

Due to lack of water in the rivers, the marine life there has suffered and irrigation to the surrounding farmland has also been negatively impacted. The water scarcity has likewise impacted the local customs and religious activities, such as funerals, claimed local Rabin Timilsina.

However, newly appointed Ministry for Physical Infrastructure and Transport, Basanta Kumar Nemwang, has claimed that there has been no such negligence.

Laxmi Gautam

Source: The Himalayan Times