170 river water pumping stations set to close

Shwechang River Water Pumping Station in Magway Region. Photo: moi
Shwechang River Water Pumping Station in Magway Region. Photo: MOI

THE Irrigation and Water Resources Utilisation Department is planning to close operations at 170 river water pumping plants among 379 plants across the country, said the department’s director-general U Kyaw Myint Hlaing.
“Of 379 river water pumping stations, 170 will be closed,” said the director-general, adding that the proposed closure of the plants has been approved by the minister, and the proposal will be submitted to the cabinet.
According to the department, the closures were proposed because of a decrease in electricity generation from the river water pumping plants, the use of unqualified generators and electrical equipment at the plants and farmers’ unwillingness to pay electricity bills for pumping water from the river.
Moreover, damage to the stations’ water outlet channels, the formation of sandbanks in the rivers and river bank erosion are also blamed for the closure of the plants.
In its statement, the department said it will stop eight of an ongoing 15 projects and 11 of 20 stations that are still operational.
“The closure of the facilities with no water supply operation and no production costs will have no impact on farmers,” said the director-general.—Ye Khaung Nyunt and Myat Thandar Maung

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