Pay dispute could affect Melamchi project’s deadline

Kathmandu, August 8

Local contractors and suppliers for the much-hyped Melamchi Drinking Water Project have expressed strong dissatisfaction as the Italian contractor, CMC De Revenna, has not clearing the outstanding dues owed to them.

Consequently, local contractors and goods suppliers for the project staged protests yesterday, which halted the construction work.

However, works resumed today after the project development board and Ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation (MoWSS) called a joint meeting with all concerned parties on Thursday to find a feasible solution.

According to Ramchandra Devkota, chief of the project, CMC has to pay more than Rs 200 million to local contractors and suppliers. Devkota also said that the project had released the money to the contractor on time but the latter seems to be delaying payment to the local contractors and suppliers.

The construction work of Melamchi project is expected to finish within October. However, repeated setbacks like the one yesterday has cast doubt on possibility of meeting the deadline. According to Devkota, out of the total 27.5 kilometres, 2.2 kilometres remain to be dug still.