Kathmandu, October 23
Bad news for Kathmandu Valley residents — the dusty roads will not be repaired properly before the completion of Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP). This means Valley residents will likely have to brave the dusty roads for another year or so.
The MWSP has dug up around 730 kilometres of roads to lay pipes in the Valley and still has to dig up another 70 kilometres in the major areas of the city — Baneshwor, Maitighar and Jawalakhel. Out of the total length, 220 kilometres lie in the major road sections.
“The Department of Roads (DoR) will repair 80-kilometre road section and the remaining 140 kilometres will be maintained by the MWSP. Because of possible problems that would require digging up some sections again, we will not start proper repair works before completing tests of the whole system,” said Tiresh Prasad Khatri, chief of Project Implementation Directorate, MWSP.
According to him, the government has allocated Rs 850 million to the DoR to maintain the roads in the Valley. However, fearing possible leakages in distribution system, the MWSP has requested DoR not to begin the maintenance works.
After facing immense public backlash, the MWSP started to do some patchwork by temporarily blacktopping the road sections that were dug up to lay the pipes. However, due to heavy traffic in the Valley, the temporary blacktops have worn out already and the roads have become dusty again.
“Earlier we had planned to start proper maintenance of the roads, however, upon facing problems while checking the distribution system, we changed our plans,” Khatri informed.
The MWSP has dug up major road sections in the Valley to lay the pipes to distribute the water to be brought from
The project has been testing its Sundarijal-based water treatment plant and bulk distribution system since September 17 and the process is expected to be completed within this month.
The project plans to distribute 170,000,000 litres of water in the Valley from the Melamchi River of Sindhupalchowk district in the first phase of the project. After completing this phase, it will start to divert the Yangri and the Larke rivers to bring additional 340,000,000 litres of water to the Valley.
The project has completed the construction of 26.086 kilometres of tunnel and still has to dig 1,498-metre tunnel. The project has targeted to complete the tunnel digging process within December. The project is digging the tunnel from two places at Sindhupalchowk district — Ambathan and Sindhu. Ambathan-Gyalthum section of tunnel will be completed at the end of November and the Sindhu-Gyalthum section will be completed by the end of December.
A version of this article appears in print on October 24, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.