January 24: The government has decided to enlist the Sunkoshi-Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project as national pride project. A meeting of the Council of Ministers on Monday (January 20) decided to develop the project into national pride project and to ensure necessary resources for the purpose.
The government had included the project in the list of national pride projects while announcing the budget for the current fiscal year, but is yet to implement the decision.
The Sunkoshi-Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project aims to produce electricity as well as provide irrigation facility. It is expected to provide irrigation facility to 122,000 hectares of land and produce 42 megawatts of electricity. The excess water from irrigation will be diverted to a power house in Kamalamai Municipality in Sindhuli where the electricity will be generated.
This project has already been included in the list of Project Bank.
Ministry of Energy said that the design of the tunnel has already been prepared while the project officials are working with the design of the headwork.
The ministry informed that the project will erect a dam at Khurkot in between Sunkoshi and Golanzar rural municipalities to divert the water of Sunkoshi river to Marin River through a 13.1 kilometer tunnel. The flow of water from the tunnel will be 67 cusec, the ministry added.
This project will facilitate irrigation in farmlands of Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Sarlahi and Siraha.
The government, however, has not been able to mange financial resources for the project.
Officials at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resource and Irrigation informed New Business Age that the ministry has already requested the Ministry of Finance to manage resources for the project.
“The finance ministry is managing funds for the project,” said Rabindra Nath Shrestha, secretary at the Energy Ministry.
It has been learnt that the government is seeking support from China for funding the project. In the budget for the current fiscal year, the government has said it will send proposal to China Exim Bank to back the project. Government officials said that they are currently trying to solicit support from the Chinese bank as well as other banks of India and donor agencies.
With the inclusion of this project, there will be a total of 22 national pride projects in Nepal.