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Drinking water project in a mess

A drinking water project, constructed at the cost of 1.7 million rupees, has ceased working after just 6 months of operation here in the Ayodhyapuri Village Development Committee (VDC).

The project started its operation last year after it was completed in two years, according to locals of a remote village situated in the southern part of Chitwan district. Chhimek Samaj of Nepal constructed the project with the financial aid of Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation Fund. "The main supply pipes of the project were washed away by floods as Chhimek Samaj did not ground it properly," say locals. The intake and collection tank of the project is inside the Royal Chitwan National Park, i.e. four km from the village.

"The people of the village only got water for about 6 months," says Prem Prasad Bhandari, the ward chairperson of Ayodhyapuri VDC-8. "The locals also invested more than 40 thousand rupees on the project."

The project was constructed with the aim of supplying drinking water to 240 families of ward nos 7 and 8 of the VDC. "The people are suspecting Chhimek Samaj for improper handling of the project fund," said Bhandari.

"As there is a lack of proper follow up by the government, this often leads to mishandling of projects," says Naradmani Poudel, the chairperson of the VDC. "The contractors Chhimek Samaj neither deposited the construction equipment in the VDC nor handed over the project to the users' committee before leaving this viliage." The District Development Committee of Chitwan has allotted 50 thousand rupees for the reconstruction of the project this year but the locals believe it is not enough to run the project again.

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