Irrigation channel to complete within few weeks in Samrang, Samdrup Jongkhar

With the construction of the irrigation channel nearing completion, the Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation and the people of Samrang Gewog in Samdrup Jongkhar are expected to get enough clean irrigation water within a few weeks. Until now, most of the farmland in the gewog were left fallow owing to water shortage, and some animals even died at the Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation’s farm due to water contamination.

The construction of the intake structure at the new water source, Kalanadi chhu was completed. For now, the laying of the high-density polyethene pipes has yet to be completed.

The new water source is located about three kilometres from the existing source. The pipes from the new source will be connected with the existing distribution lines.

According to the Gewog administration, the existing source contains coal which often blocks the pipes.

Gewog officials added that the new source is less likely to get washed away by flood water during the rainy season.

Samdrup Jongkhar district administration and Samrang Gewog are providing financial support while Bhutan Livestock Development Corporation in Samrang is executing the work.

“About 95 per cent of the work is complete. The construction of the irrigation channel will benefit BLDC and the community. After getting the water, villagers have also agreed to do vegetable and other agriculture work,” said Jigme Singay Drukpa, Samrang Gup.

“Villagers can cultivate paddy and vegetables. For BLDC, the existing water contains coal and causes more animal deaths. With this new water source, it is expected to benefit both the community and the farm,” said Tshewang Penjor, Head of BLDC.

And the news of the works nearing completion has come as a huge relief for the farmers of Samrang.

Krishna Rai has two acres of paddy field. But in the last two years, he didn’t cultivate paddy due to irrigation water shortage.

“We kept the land fallow as we didn’t have enough water.  Without water, we cannot cultivate anything. I am planning to cultivate paddy if I get enough water from the new irrigation channel,” said Krishna Rai, a farmer.

“We will cultivate paddy if we get enough water. Now the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and we will get labourers from India at a cheaper rate,” said Laxman Rai, another farmer.

According to Samrang Gewog Administration, about 40 acres of fallow land will be revived this year. Samrang Gewog has 56 households.

The irrigation channel is being constructed at a cost of Nu 11 M.

Kinley Wangchuk, Samdrup Jongkhar

Edited by Tshering Zam

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