Kathmandu, November 22
The Melamchi Water Supply Project will run at only 50 per cent capacity for the first six months if it starts supplying water to Kathmandu Valley by the March 26 deadline.
According to the project, 170 million litres of water will enter Kathmandu Valley through the 27km waterway tunnel. However, the project’s treatment plant will be able to treat only 85 million litres of water per day.
According to Melamchi Water Supply Development Board, two water treatment plants will be required for the project to run at full capacity. Each treatment plant should have the capacity of treating 85 million litres of water per day. It said only 20 per cent work on the construction of second water treatment plant had been completed so far, while the Sundarijal-based treatment plant was ready for operation.
Deputy Executive Director at MWSDB Ramakanta Duwadi said the deadline for completion of the second treatment plant had been set for July next year, but it was unlikely to meet the deadline. “If the contractor begins supplying water from March, we will have to operate at only 50 per cent capacity,” Duwadi told The Himalayan Times.
He said since water couldn’t be supplied without treatment, the project could not run at full capacity until the second treatment plant was completed. It is also said that consumers wouldn’t be supplied Melamchi water from March as the Project Implementation Directorate was likely to take a few more months to test the pipeline.
“If second treatment plant takes more time to complete, we can still treat 130 million litres of water per day using the first treatment plant. However, our priority is to complete the second treatment plant by the July deadline,” added Duwadi.
Only 1,016 metres of the 27km waterway tunnel remains to be excavated. Two weeks ago, MWSP had completed 168-hour disinfection test of the first water treatment plant using chlorine gas.
Started on 21 December 2000, the Melamchi project is assisted by the Asian Development Bank and aims to reduce drinking water scarcity in the Valley. Kathmandu Valley will be supplied 170,000,000 litres of water per day from the Melamchi River from March 26, 2018, in the first phase. In the second phase, the project envisages supplying 340,000,000 litres of additional water per day to the Valley by bringing water from Yangri and Larke rivers of Sindhupalchowk district.
A version of this article appears in print on November 23, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.