The concept of the Sikta Irrigation Project was first envisaged during the pre-feasibility studies conducted from 1975 to 1976. It was contained in the report on the then proposed Western Rapti Multipurpose Development, which included the construction of High Dam at Bhalubang of Dang District with a storage reservoir to serve irrigation and hydropower development purposes in West Rapti Basin and adjacent areas such as Kapilvastu. Lahmeyer International GmbH, a German company completed the feasibility study for Sikta Irrigation Project in August 1980 based on a run-of-the-river diversion gravity scheme, which uses the potential energy of the river to meet the desired engineering objectives. Further studies were carried out on the particular scheme by Department of Irrigation, Hydrology and Meteorology, which was culminated in June 1983. However, the project was not executed immediately owing to lack of external funding. In 2002, the project was reassessed by Irrigation Development Project- Mid Western Region (IDP-MWR) and the feasibility studies were submitted in 2004 after going through rigorous field investigations. The study justified the technical, economic and social viability of the project.
The Sikta Irrigation Project is situated in the Banke District of the Mid Western Development Region. The project was originally envisaged to develop detailed irrigation systems/infrastructures to irrigate the total area of 33,766 ha, including the rehabilitation of Dunduwa Irrigation System, constructed by Indian Cooperation Mission in 1964, on the right side of Rapti River. Additional 1,800 ha including the command area of existing Rajkulo Irrigation System on the left side of the river was also incorporated within the project. IN 2007, the Department of Irrigation conducted a feasibility study for additional 9000 ha of agricultural land, which included 2,500 ha of Fattepur Irrigation System, thus increasing the total command area of Sikta Irrigation Project to nearly 43,000 ha. Sikta Irrigation Project turned out to be an ambitious development scheme, which was capable of irrigating almost all the low lands of Banke District, thus securing a very pivotal position for the long-term economic prosperity of the region.
The project was initially planned to complete in nine years, starting from Fiscal Year 062/63 and ending in Fiscal Year 2070/2071. Due to various reasons, the initial plan was revised and approved in 2071, which is as indicated below.
As a Consultant, CMS has been involved in Sikta Irrigation Project in the following works:
- Construction supervision and management of the Headworks (317 m long barrage and RC road bridge, settling basin, flushing system) – Phase I, Step 1 – completed.
- construction and Main Canal of 50 m3/s discharge capacity from 0+614 km to 15+000 km – Phase II, Part 1 – completed.
- Feasibility Study of Left Side Command Area and Command Area Survey of Sidaniya Branch of Sikta Irrigation Project – completed
- Detailed Planning, Engineering Design of Branch Canals and Associated Command Area Development of Sikta Irrigation Project (phase III, Part 1) – on going.