NEPALGUNJ, JAN 17 -
Construction of the main canal of the Sikta Irrigation Project is likely to be completed within the current fiscal year as the contractor has been using a rush crew and advanced equipment.
CTCE Kalika Construction was awarded the contract to complete the 17-km canal within three years. The project has demanded an additional Rs 1.25 billion from the government after the allocated budget of Rs 880 million was spent within the first six months of this fiscal year.
Project chief Dilip Karki said the Finance Ministry had stated that it would not let the project suffer due to lack of budget as it was a national pride project. “If the desired budget is provided, construction of the main infrastructure for the canal will be completed within a year,” he added.
The contractor has been constructing a canal along with the necessary bridges across the Duduwanala and other streams. The 15-35 km section of
the 50-km long main canal is considered to be the most important one. Project director of the construction company Yuwaraj Chettri said that some 192 units of equipment were being used at the construction site while around 1,100 workers had been deployed. “Machines like canal pavers have been used to ensure high quality of the work,” added Chettri. He said that as these machines had been used to build the longest canal in India, the Narmada Canal, similar equipment were used for the project.
Company officials said that due to floods in even the small rivers causing disturbances during the monsoon, a large number of machines
are being used in a bid to complete construction within the dry season. “If the budget is provided on time, construction will be completed within half the time than the set target,” said Chettri.
The contractor claimed that it had been using three times the number of machines stated in the tender document. “We have used a large number of equipment,” said an official. “We have demanded timely allocation of funds so that we do not have to stand idle.”
Around Rs 6.34 billion out of the total project cost of Rs 16 billion has already been spent. The Sikta Project was started six years ago with the aim of completing it within nine years. According to the contractor, it will take another six years to complete construction of the 50-km long main canal and 233-km long branches.
After completion of 28 km of the main canal, the first branch will be handed over which will irrigate 1,800 hectares of land.
Posted on: 2013-01-17 09:17