Irrigation channel to address Radhi gewog’s water woes

About 100 households will benefit from the project

Radhi gewog in Trashigang is expected to see its water scarcity problem solved greatly once the new irrigation channel from Yudhiri to Bainang is complete.

Radhi gup Yonten Phuntsho said the residents of Radhi gewog solely depend on agriculture for their livelihood and that water scarcity remains one of the shortcomings in the gewog.

He said with the help of the government, the gewog is working on bringing up more irrigation channels, which will help the villagers to overcome the water shortage problem in the gewog.

“Right now the survey has been done at Pekshing, but the project could not commence as the water-pipes did not arrive on time due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the gup said, adding that the supply order has been sent. The gup is hopeful that the raw materials will arrive soon.

He said the gewog is focusing on irrigation channels as almost about 80% of the people depend on agriculture.

He said to minimize the water shortage problems in the gewog, the maintenance of the irrigation channel is done whenever needed by the gewog and local people.

According to the gup, about 100 households will benefit from the project.

The gewog has been keeping the irrigation works yearly for the villagers, the gup added.

The gewog administration officer of Radhi gewog, Tandin Wangchuk said the gewog is planning to finish the project before the paddy cultivation begins.

He said as the villagers wanted to start Yudhiri to Bainang irrigation channel, the gewog will be using the budget from the other two projects to add on the new irrigation channel.

“Even the works and human settlement ministry will be helping financially if the budget is not adequate for the project,” Tandin Wangchuk said.

He added that the gewog even had support from the dzongkhag and that in 2020, the dzongkhag provided Radhi gewog Nu 4.3mn and the budget was used for taking out water from different sources.

He said the project was helpful to the villagers.

“Almost everyone in the gewog owns a power-tiller and is into framing, water scarcity in the gewog is understandable. The demand for water is more than the supply. Despite the gewog bringing water from more sources, water issues have remained a problem in the gewog,” Tandin Wangchuk said.

“The raw materials are yet to arrive and once the raw material arrives, it will take about 15 days for the construction to complete,” he added.

Meanwhile, Radhi gewog is located some 30km east of Trashigang district on a north facing slope. While it is partly a dry Chirpine belt in its lower part, the upper part is covered with a cool broadleaf forest.

Radhi is famous for its rice and Radhi-Buray textiles. The main agricultural crops that are grown by people of Radhi are paddy, maize, soya beans, potatoes and vegetables, which are mostly used for household consumption except for rice which is mostly sold.

Sonam Tashi from Trashigang