Nepal | July 05, 2020

Melamchi project to be completed by mid-July


Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, February 13

The Ministry of Water Supply (MoWS) has claimed that the much-awaited Melamchi Water Supply Project will be completed by mid-July.

Issuing a white paper on Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP) with an aim to clarify the status of the national pride project, Minister for Water Supply Bina Magar informed that the project has achieved 95.12 per cent physical progress as of today and Kathmandu dwellers will get water supplied from the project from mid-July.

The government had released a white paper on Melamchi Water Supply Project to clarify the project’s status after Italy-based Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) di Ravenna abruptly terminated the project in December 2018.

Though the construction of Melamchi Water Supply Project was started more than two decades ago, the project is yet to be completed.

Tiresh Prasad Khatri, executive director of Melamchi Water Supply Development Board, said that the target has been set to bring water from Melamchi River up to Sundarijal reservoir within mid-July. The budget for fiscal year 2019-20 had also announced to complete the Melamchi project within this fiscal year.

As stated in the white paper, the Melamchi Water Supply Project will cost Rs 31.36 billion while Rs 28.13 billion has already been spent for the project so far. “Kathmandu residents have waited for the project for years. However, the project will no longer remain a dream and will be completed within this fiscal,” said Minister Magar.

The fate of the Melamchi project had been uncertain ever since CMC left the project in December 2018

After almost one year since CMC left the water project, the government had brought in a Chinese company called Sinohydro to complete the remaining works of the project in November last year. The Chinese firm has been given a deadline of 12 months to complete the works.

“We are optimistic that the project will be completed within the deadline given to the contractor,” added Magar.

Sinohydro has been assigned the works related to headworks and tunnel finishing, diversion tunnel, lining of audit tunnel and finishing touches of the tunnel. Similarly, the company is also building infrastructure related to the water intake aspect of the project and also work on improving the access road. Furthermore, Sinohydro is also responsible for the design and construction of the coffer dam, repair of the camp site and installation of flushing systems in the project.

A version of this article appears in print on February 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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