Kathmandu, June 11
The Melamchi Water Supply Development Project is preparing to conduct test run of the Sundarijal-based treatment plant starting next month. The treatment plant’s construction is nearing completion.
Deputy Executive Director at Melamchi Water Supply Development Board Ramakant Duwadi said the board had instructed contractors to conduct a test run of the treatment plant and water supply systems.
“Contractors have begun procurement of pipes to supply water from the Bagmati River to the treatment plant in Sundarijal. They have also begun construction of a small intake dam on the Bagmati River after seeking permission from the Shivapuri Nagarjuna National Park ,” Duwadi told The Himalayan Times, adding that they had to seek permission as the intake lies in the buffer zone area of SNNP.
Duwadi informed that the test run of the treatment plant would be conducted after water level in the Bagmati River rises. “First a test run of the treatment plant would be conducted. Then, treated water will supplied through the bulk distribution system from July,” he said.
Sundarijal-based plant has the capacity of treating 85 million litres of water per day.
Two Indian Companies VA Tech Wabag Ltd and Pratibha Industries Ltd are working to conduct test run of the water treatment plant. PIL is the contractor for Sundarijal-based plant whereas VA Tech Wabag Ltd is the contractor for expansion of the Guheshwori-based treatment plant.
Meanwhile, MWSDB said the speed of tunnel construction was yet to speed up due to weak rocks and slow excavation. Recent progress report obtained from MWSDB has shown that of total 27,584.5 metre tunnel, only 24,512.6 metre had been excavated so far.
The government had earlier provided additional support after the contractor said they were unlikely to complete tunnel excavation on time without using new technology. On demand of the contractor, the government had provided an additional USD 3 million for tunnel excavation.
With the third deadline fast approaching, MWSDB is struggling to complete its task on time by using the most effective technology. The third deadline for completion of the project is expiring on October 2017. However, given the pace of work, the project is likely to miss this deadline too.
Started in 21 December 2000, the Melamchi Water Supply Project is a project assisted by the Asian Development Bank which aims to reduce the problems of drinking water scarcity in the Valley. The Melamchi Project envisages supplying 510,000,000 litres of water per day to the Valley from the Melamchi, Yangri, and Larke rivers of Sindhupalchowk District. In phase one, the project will supply 170,000,000 litres of water per day to the Valley.
A version of this article appears in print on June 12, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.