Is Water Resource the Only Source for the Development of Nepal?

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Is Water Resources the only solution for the development of Nepal? “Nepal is the second richest country in water resources in the whole world.” We grew up hearing this statement since our childhood. Is this statement valid? Are we really that rich in water resources at all? Our present situation points in the other direction though. The government is making plans and policies with water resources, especially hydro-electricity, in mind for the ‘accelerated development’ of the country. Is it really possible that we have a double digit growth rate just with hydropower? Our present situation points out very bleak environment. Despite being ‘rich in water resources’, only 40% of the total population has access to electricity, still 68% of the total population still rely on firewood for fuel, and 68% in urban areas and 14% in rural areas have access to clean and safe drinking water. We all know about the dire state of electricity in our country. We have 36 hours a week loadshedding even in monsoon, and during the dry season, it extends up to 18 hours a day. It is an irony that only 400 MW of electricity is produced in our country whilst economically feasible production amount is approximately 40000 MW and despite having such a potential, we still have to import electricity from India. Similar is the case with agriculture. Despite being rich in water, we still have to depend upon rain to irrigate our lands. All these facts state that water is a scarce resource in Nepal. The initiatives taken by the government might be justifiable from their own right, but the fact that hydropower is the only source for the development of Nepal is not justifiable. There are many other sectors from which Nepal can benefit from. Information technology, agriculture, travel and tourism, foreign direct investment and remittance are few such sectors that have made an impact or have a potential to make an impact on the overall growth of the...
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