‘Complete Melamchi project through Nepali contractor’

Kathmandu, January 24

The National Concern and Coordination Committee of the National Assembly (NA) today directed the government to complete the remaining construction work of the Melamchi Water Supply Project through Nepali contractors.

Citing that the appointment of a new contractor for the water project will take time thereby raising uncertainty of the water project, the committee’s meeting held today directed the Ministry of Water Supply to complete the project through available Nepali contractors.  “As the tender process for appointment of a new contractor is lengthy and will hamper the timely completion of the water project, remaining construction work has to be completed through Nepali contractors itself,” said Dil Kumari Rawal Thapa, chairman of committee.

Though a majority of the construction works of the Melamchi Water Supply Project has been completed, a few works including the finishing works of around 900 metre tunnel, construction of walls and installation of other technology equipment are remaining. Though the project was expected to be completed within a few months, Co-operativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) di Ravenna — Italian contractor of Melamchi Water Supply Project — had abandoned its contract from project citing its bankruptcy.

On the occasion, other members of the committee criticised the government for its failure to bring back CMC to the project.

Though CMC terminated the project, the government had not accepted the termination letter of CMC as the project was in the final stage of completion. Instead, the government had allowed CMC officials to go back to their respective countries to celebrate Christmas after they made a commitment to return. However, neither have CMC officials returned to complete the project nor have they tried to contact government.

“The government cannot sit quiet and delay the water project. It should take necessary steps at the earliest and assure the public that the project is completed on time,” members of the committee said.

Meanwhile, the government has already begun the process to terminate the contract with CMC by sending a ‘letter of termination’ to the Italian firm a few days ago. As per the legal provision, the government should send a notice of termination to CMC prior to scrapping the contract with it and the notice provides two weeks to the contractor to resume the project works.