4 June, Samdrupjongkhar: The Omshari Landmark Irrigation Project achieves a momentous milestone as it is ceremoniously handed over to the local community on June 4th, coinciding with the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s Birth Anniversary and Lord Buddha’s Parinirvana. The formal handover ceremony was graced by His Excellency, Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr. Prashant Kumar Das, Consul General of India, Phuentsholing, and esteemed local government leaders and enthusiastic residents, signifying the project’s successful completion and its immense importance for the community.
The Construction of Omshari Landmark Irrigation Project in Pemathang Gewog, Samdrup Jongkhar was launched on 11 November, 2022 coinciding with the Birth Anniversary of Fourth Druk Gyalpo, His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck marking a significant milestone for the irrigation sector in Bhutan. At a cost of Nu. 95.00 million, the project was completed and handed over to the beneficiaries and local governments. The project was financed by the Government of India through the Project Tied Assistance (PTA) Program.
In pursuit of realizing His Majesty the King’s vision for quality water infrastructures, the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock in partnership with the De-suung Office and local governments executed the project. An average of 110 De-suups were engaged in the construction.
The Agriculture Engineering Division (AED) under the former Department of Agriculture, carried out the feasibility study, design and construction supervision of the new irrigation facilities that are climate resilient technologies including proper water intake structures; 7 km of 450 mm diameter HDPE main pipeline; 7 km of HDPE pipe distribution system, 8 km of concrete distribution canals and 3 drinking water reservoir tanks.
Pemathang Gewog is widely known for its Khamtey rice – a variety that is much sought after by many Bhutanese and is a primary source of cash income for many local farmers. However, the yield and production of Khamtey is currently constrained by irrigation water shortage during its critical growth stages i.e. September end – October. The existing water source – Warong-re is not able to meet both the agriculture and drinking water demands.
With the completion of the project a vast expanse of Chuzhing (paddy land) and Kamzhing (rainfed) measuring over 1000 acres will receive increased irrigation water supply and is expected to boost rice and winter vegetable productions. Besides, it will also provide supplementary water supply for Doma/betel-nut (arecanut) cultivation and livestock farming. Water tapped from the new source – Raoshing-re – will also reduce the demand on the existing one and serve as a source of clean drinking water for several villages. A total of 384 households will be benefited by the project.