Melamchi distribution system test begins

Kathmandu, October 3

Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Ltd (KUKL) plans to complete testing the distribution system of the much-hyped Melamchi Drinking Water Project (MDWP) within November 15.

KUKL started the first phase of testing the distribution system from September 17 by channelling water from the Bagmati River through its pipes to major distribution systems.

Before Dashain, KUKL completed testing 3.8 kilometres of pipes in the Sundarijal-Namledanda section in Kathmandu. However, it discovered leakage in Namledanda, close to Gokarna, and stopped the testing work. “We plan to resume the work from Saturday, by when we will have completed the maintenance work,” said Tiresh Prasad Khatri, chief of

Project Implementation Directorate, Melamchi Sub-Project.

In initial phase, KUKL will test system from Sundarijal to bulk distribution systems (BDSs) located in Gongabu, Airport, Gaushala and Anamnagar. “In this phase, we will complete testing the distribution system to the aforementioned BDSs. The water will then be discharged to the rivers that are close to the BDSs,” he informed.

KUKL will not deliver water of the Bagmati River to households in this phase. As per Khatri, the authority will test the pipes, which have already been affixed to households only after water from the Melamchi River is brought to Sundarijal.

“The water being channelled from Bagmati River will not support us in checking entire distribution system. We have to wait for water from Melamchi to complete the entire test.”

KUKL estimates it will take another three months to check entire distribution system after water from Melamchi arrives at Sundarijal. If all the work is completed as estimated by KUKL, people in Kathmandu Valley will receive potable water of Melamchi River only at the end of this fiscal. MDWP plans to complete the tunnel digging process of the project by February.

Of the total 27.58-kilometre-long tunnel, 25.91 kilometres have been dug till September 23. MDWP still has to construct 1.68 kilometres of the tunnel under this project. Due to delay in tunnel digging process, entire progress of project has slowed down.

The project plans to supply 510 million litres of water per day to the Valley from the Melamchi, Yangri, and Larke rivers of Sindhupalchowk district. Initially, it will supply 170 million litres of water of Melamchi River to the Valley and in the second phase the Yangri and Larke rivers will be diverted to Melamchi and an additional 340 million litres of water will be supplied.