Kathmandu, November 10
After remaining halted for around a year, construction of the remaining works of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project has finally begun, which consequently has created a hype again and there are claims that the project will soon supply water to Kathmandu Valley.
As per the revised plan, the project will start distributing water to homes in the Valley by mid-July next year, which is well ahead of the stated deadline of October 28.
“Sinohydro, the Chinese construction firm that has been assigned the responsibility to complete the remaining works, has already resumed construction at the project site,” said Tiresh Prasad Khatri, executive director of Melamchi Water Supply Development Board. “Around 96 per cent of the construction works had already been completed by the previous contractor and now the works of diversion will be taken ahead,” he informed.
The government had awarded the contract to complete the remaining construction works of the Melamchi project to Sinohydro on September 29. The Chinese firm has been given a deadline of 12 months to complete the works. As per the agreement, the one-year deadline started from October 29 and the contractor company must finish all the remaining works of the Melamchi project by October 28 next year. However, Khatri has claimed that they will be able to distribute drinking water in the Valley before the deadline.
At present, Sinohydro is carrying out works related to headworks and tunnel finishing, diversion tunnel, lining of audit tunnel and finishing touches of the tunnel, among others.
The project has urged Sinohydro to construct the remaining works by utilising the existing machines and equipment. “We have assured the company to provide necessary security and other coordination to complete the project on time,” said Khatri.
The project had earlier been stalled since the Italian contractor Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) di Ravenna quit Melamchi without any valid reason in December last year. Later, the government had announced fresh bids for the completion of the project. The whole project has been divided into two packages and both the tenders were awarded to Sinohydro.
Last week, the Development and Technology Committee of the Federal Parliament had inspected the project site and directed the project officials and contractors to complete the project within the stipulated timeframe.
A version of this article appears in print on November 11, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.