MWSDB gearing up for second phase of Melamchi project

Kathmandu, November 27

Close to successfully completing the first phase of the project, Melamchi Water Supply Development Board (MWSDB) is now gearing up to begin second phase of the project, which aims to bring 340 million litres of water a day to the Valley.

“We have started the detailed study for the second phase and plan to complete it within January,” Ram Chandra Devkota, executive director of the MWSDB, said.

Spanish multinational engineering firm — Eptisa Engineering Services — is conducting the engineering study of the project. Similarly, the project is also studying the environmental and social impacts at the same time.

The government has planned to bring 510 million litres of water per day after the entire project concludes. The project will bring 170 million litres of water per day to the Valley after completion of the first phase.

As per the plan, the Yangri and Larke rivers will be diverted to the Melamchi River and additional 340 million litres of water will be brought to the Valley.

“Just one-third of total 510 million litres of water will be brought in the first phase and remaining in the second phase,” he stated.

MWSDB has sought financial support from Asian Development Bank (ADB), which had financed the first phase of the project, for second phase as well. While MWSDB and ADB have not inked a pact yet, Devkota expressed hope that the multilateral donor will extend support for second phase too.

“ADB is willing to support the second phase too, and they are pressuring us to complete the preparatory works,” Devkota said. The MWSDB plans to complete the project within next three to five years.

As per the preliminary study, additional 11-kilometre tunnel should be dug up to bring water from the two rivers to the Melamchi River.

The project has plans to build three bridges — one across the Indrawati and another two across the Yangri River and construct around 11-kilometre access road to reach Yangri and Larke.

Yangri River is located nine kilometres east of Melamchi and Larke is at a distance of two kilometres east from Yangri River in Sindhupalchowk.

As per data maintained by the MWSDB, 26.64-kilometre tunnel out of the total length of 27.58 km has been dug up till yesterday. Similarly, construction of the water treatment plant in Sundarijal was also completed in October. The project plans to bring water from the Melamchi River to Sundarijal water treatment plant within March of 2018.