Gumina_Tenchhukha irrigation water shortage unresolved after Nu 7 M project fails

After a Nu 7 M irrigation water project at Gumina_Tenchhukha in Chhukha’s Maedtekha Gewog failed, people in the village have not been able to do large scale agricultural work. People said without enough irrigation water, they are not able to grow vegetables for commercial purposes, which would otherwise be a good source of income.

The chiwog did not have proper irrigation water and a few years ago, the local government leaders raised the matter to the district administration.

Despite the district administration allotting Nu 7 M for the irrigation water project, people said that they have not been able to use the water from the project, not even once.

According to locals, the project was a failure because of poor quality works. Moreover, finding a water source is also challenging in the area.

“The contract was between 2020 and 2022. When the works were handed over, the local government was in the transition period. The old LG leaders had completed their terms and the current leaders had not joined office, so we had no opportunity to inspect the work quality,” said Passang Tshering, Maedtekha Gup.

“The water source identified is also not reliable and has dried up. Also, the Naja Gewog took water from our source for their irrigation works. Moreover the quality of the works of our project was not good,” said Ugyen Dorji, Gumina_Tenchhukha Tshogpa.

The tshogpa said pipes were not put under ground properly and also the pillars to support the water pipes were not built properly.

According to the tshogpa, although a few of them raised concerns about the work quality, no one paid heed to their concerns.

This is said to have demotivated the farmers.

“If there is enough water, farmers can grow vegetables in winter as well. They are all excited and interested to grow vegetables. Also, we cannot do paddy cultivation on time and when we cannot do on time, the harvest is less. This demotivates the farmers and the number of people cultivating paddy is also decreasing,” said Ugyen Dorji, Gumina_Tenchhukha Tshogpa.

“Naja Gewog took the water and we do not have water now. So, we would be grateful if a solution can be reached. We will need a new water source,” said Namgay, a resident.

“We have irrigation water shortage. Although a project came, it was not successful. Besides cardamom, vegetables are a good source of income for us but we cannot grow the vegetables as we do not have water,” said Jigme, another resident.

The gewog administration is aware of the issue and has plans to address it in the 13th Five-Year Plan.

However, with limited budget, people are worried if the gewog administration would be able to materialise it.

Kinley Dem, Chhukha

Edited by Kipchu 

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