Unfinished irrigation channel leaves people frustrated

An incomplete irrigation channel construction at Chhudzom  Gewog’s Pelrigang  B village in Sarpang has left the residents frustrated. According to the people, the contractor, responsible for completing the construction has only completed about 30 per cent of the work. The residents said that the contractor stopped the work when materials ran out and never returned to the site since June last year. The construction began in March last year and was supposed to be completed in November of the same year.

The contractor was hired to construct the 1.5-kilometre-long irrigation channel for 6.5 million ngultrum with funding support from the Indian government.

The project was meant to benefit 13 households in Pelrigang B village, covering more than 17 acres of land. However, incomplete construction has raised concerns among the farmers.

“They dug up the ground at several locations to build irrigation channels, but they didn’t finish the job. They failed to bring the construction materials supplies and the contractor has vanished from sight,” said Bishnu Maya Ghalley, a resident of Pelrtithang.

“We are having difficulties because the contractor didn’t finish the work. Our fields are dry because they only completed part of the project and didn’t build the water source. This has affected our farming. We don’t know where the contractor is,” said Goray Sanu Rai, another resident of Pelrithang.

“The contractor has run off with the money. They used a machine to start the work and the villagers did some of the ground work. However, they stopped when materials ran out and the contractor never returned to the site,” said Narani Gurung, also a resident of Pelrithang.

The Chhudzom Gewog Administration has repeatedly contacted the contractor who promised to start the work immediately each time. However, the contractor has failed to show up.

“He is nowhere to be seen right now. We have tried contacting him multiple times but only managed to reach him two to three times. Sometimes he doesn’t answer our calls and other times his response is polite, promising to send machines, materials and workers to the site immediately. However, he still hasn’t shown up,” said Bishnu Prasad Rai, Chhudzom Gup.

The gewog office has informed the matter to the district. The engineer at the work site said that they issued a notice to the contractor to resume the work immediately, warning him that failure to do so would result in the termination of the contract.

However, after nearly ten months, they managed to locate the contractor in Phuentshogling recently. The engineer said that the contractor is currently searching for labourers to complete the irrigation channel.

Karma Wangdi, Sarpang

Edited by Sonam Pem

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