Villages in Maedwang and Genye Gewogs in Thimphu expected to have enough irrigation water by next year

If everything goes as planned, farmers of some villages in Maedwang and Genye Gewogs in Thimphu will be receiving enough irrigation water from next year. The Thimphu District Administration is carrying out the construction of an irrigation water supply as the villages have been facing water shortage in the past. This year, due to the ongoing construction work, most of the farmers were not able to cultivate paddy.

Many farmers of Patsekha village in Maedwang Gewog could not carry out paddy transplantation this year.

According to farmers, around four households cultivated paddy in some fields using drinking water for irrigation purpose.

“The irrigation project began before the paddy transplantation season last year. Since the project was at the initial stage, we were able to do paddy transplantation. Now it has reached the mid stage and we cannot cultivate as we could not get water supply,” said Kencho Dorji, a farmer.

Farmers used to grow chilli as a source of income but this year, they said they could not grow chilli like in the past due to water shortage and less rainfall during chilli growing season.

The situation is the same in a few other villages in Maedwang and Genye Gewog.

The Genye gup said that there was a written agreement between the villagers and the gewog administration stating that farmers will sacrifice this year’s paddy cultivation if the project solves their water problem in the upcoming years. He did not have any other comments.

BBS tried to contact Maedwang Gup but he was not available.

However, farmers are expecting the project to complete at the earliest so that they can carry out the paddy transplantation next year without delay.

Chador, a farmer from Patsekha village said “After the completion of irrigation project, I hope to cultivate paddy in all of my fields as well as on the leased land. We would be very happy if the project goes as planned.”

“We discussed among ourselves and decided not to cultivate this year. If we demand irrigation water while they are working, it is not going to work. They said the project will be completed by next year, so we hope to cultivate paddy like we did before,” said Mindu Zangmo, who is from Wangbama under Genye Gewog.

The contractor who is carrying out the construction work said they had to keep works on halt for about six months last year during the paddy cultivation season.

The contractor said that he submitted a letter to the district administration for an extension of project completion duration by another seven months.

The district chief engineer said that the district tender committee is discussing on the extension proposal.

The project is being carried out under the Water Flagship Programme which is funded by the Government of India. According to the district chief engineer, the Nu 52 M project started earlier last year and is scheduled to be completed by September this year.

Phub Dorji 

Edited by Tshering Zam 

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