CMC says to resume Melamchi construction

Kathmandu, December 24

The government has said that it is serious about resolving the issues related to the construction of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project.

Speaking at a programme in the Capital, today, Minister for Water Supply Bina Magar, said the government has been holding talks with experts to manage the problem. “The government is serious about resolving the Melamchi problem and the ministry has been cautious as we don’t want anybody to take advantage of this issue.”

She further said that all concerned stakeholders needed to be involved in resolving this case and to create a conducive environment for the timely completion of the project.

Gajendra Kumar Thakur, secretary at the MoWS, informed that the Italian contractor, Co-operativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) di Ravenna, had on Sunday withdrawn its decision to abandon the project. This has created hope that

construction of the Melamchi project will be completed within the stipulated timeframe and Valley denizens will be able to receive water in their taps as expected, he added.

“The Italian Embassy in India and the Consulate General of Italy in Kathmandu have written a formal letter to the government ensuring that the CMC workers will return from Italy after the New Year. So the government has released their passports,” said Thakur, adding that CMC has assured us that it will complete the project as pledged earlier. However, he stated that the government still has doubts on CMC’s assurance.

Meanwhile, there has been no concrete dialogue or written statement by CMC on the termination and resumption of the project contract. “Earlier, CMC had written an email to the government mentioning its decision to quit the project and now too they have sent an email stating that they will resume their work after New Year,” said Thakur.

Thakur also informed that the government has planned to inject more cash into the project if needed for its timely completion.

On December 18, the government had frozen the Italian contractor’s security bond amount worth Rs 2.56 billion deposited at Standard Chartered Bank Nepal and Nepal Investment Bank.