News and Events

478 km of waterways possible in Koshi, Gandaki, Bheri

Dec 14, 2011

KATHMANDU, Nov 7: A consulting firm assigned to undertake the feasibility study of water transport in the country has suggested 478-km of waterways in one dozen routes in three rivers, which can directly or indirectly benefit around 3.8 million people in forty districts.

In an Inception Report - an initial report of feasibility study - East Consult and ECoCoDE Nepal, the consulting firm, has proposed 173 km in four routes along the Koshi river, 183 km in four routes along the Gandaki river and 122 km in  four routes along the Bheri river to run a two-way water transport in the country.

In the report, which was submitted to the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works (MoPPW) a couple of days back, the consulting firm has suggested 47 km Chataraghat-Koshi Barrage, 8.5 km Chataraghat-Tribeni of Koshi, 48 km Tribeni-Simhawati Saune and 70 km Simhawati-Ghurmi routes along the Koshi river basin.

The report has also identified 130 km waterway along Devghat-Ramdi, 33 km Devghat-Muglin, 16 km Muglin-Fishling and 4.5 km Mirmi-Setibeni routes along the Gandaki river basin. Similarly, 15 km Karnali Bridge-Ghatgaun, 37 km Ghatgaun-Taranga, 20 km Taranga-Haripur and 50 km Haripur-Bhotechaur along the Bheri river basin.

"In the inception report, the consulting firm has suggested us a total 478 km long waterway in different routes in three river basins. However, field-based feasibility study, which will start from next week, will be conducted up to 450 km only," Suresh Neupane, an engineer at Waterway section at the MoPPW told the Republica on Sunday.

Neupane said the proposed waterways would not only increase the mobility of goods and the people but also promote recreational tourism in the catchment areas.

"The report has estimated that 1.4 million people in 17 districts will benefit from the Koshi waterways, two million people of 17 districts from the Gandaki waterways and 0.3 million people of six districts from the Bheri waterways if the proposed waterways prove feasible," said Neupane. According to him, the firm would complete the final feasibility report by February 2012.

The government had conducted a feasibility study for water transport along 58 km Mulghat-Majhitar route of the Tamor river and 45 km Charataghat-Leguwaghat of the Arun river that estimated to cost Rs 10.97 million and Rs 12.74 million for the two routes respectively. "We are preparing to bring into operation one of those two routes this year through annual tender worth Rs 4 million," said Neupane.

The MoPPW and the consulting company had reached an agreement on July 13, 2011, for preparing the Inception Report within six months. As per the agreement, the firm would study the possibility of water transport in the rivers and suggest to the government the mode of transport, length of waterway and necessary water level among others.

The government has allocated Rs 10 million in the current fiscal year to prepare DPR on water transport in Koshi, Gandaki and Bheri basins and start operation of water transport in Arun and Tamor rivers.