Irrigation Crisis Hits Bateshwor Rural: Transformer Theft Leaves Farmers High and Dry

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Mar. 12: After the theft of a transformer of the irrigation project in Bateshwor Rural municipality-3 of Dhanusha, local farmers have been deprived of irrigation facilities.

The transformer of 50 KVA was stolen on August 22, 2023. The copper wire and oil were stolen and the transformer was found thrown away.

In 2017, the agricultural development project of Dhanusha had constructed the irrigation project with the aim of providing easy irrigation facilities to the fields.

For irrigation, three kilometers of pipelines have been extended underground and chambers have been constructed at various places.

About 100 bighas of land was being irrigated through the Maharani Deep Tube Well Water Consumers’ User Group.

Chairman of Consumers’ Group Badri Mahato said that irrigation has now been stopped after the transformer was stolen.

He said that due to lack of irrigation, vegetables and other crops such as wheat, corn, sugarcane, in the fields have started drying up.

Mahato stated that 20 per cent of the farmers’ fields are barren due to lack of irrigation and said that they had requested Ram Aashish Mahato, chairman of Bateshwor Rural Municipality, to provide a new transformer.

He alleged that even after six months of submission of the application, the rural municipality was not serious about providing the transformer.

Local Raj Kishore Mahato said that apart from rain water, an underground irrigation project was the only option for irrigation. But, after the transformer was stolen, the farmers here have been forced to keep their fields barren due to lack of irrigation, he said.

“Irrigation can be resumed by spending about Rs. 300,000. It is unfortunate for farmers here that the chairman of the rural municipality is not able to arrange that amount,” he said.

Chairman Ram Aashish Mahato said that transformers could not be provided because the municipality did not have an additional budget.

He said, “The municipal council made the budget tight. There is no fund for any contingency. Therefore, the transformer could not be provided.”

He said that he has also written to Mahendranagar Electricity Branch of Nepal Electricity Authority to provide a transformer.

Source: Rising Nepal