Kathmandu, March 30

Melamchi Water Supply Project is close to achieving tunnel breakthrough with less than 90 metres tunnel remaining to be dug along the Sindhu-Gyalthum stretch. If everything goes as planned, tunnel excavation to be completed in two weeks.

The next three to four months will see concretisation of the tunnel from inside. The people of Kathmandu thus have to wait still a few more months to get Melamchi water.

Spokesperson for MWSP Sub Project 1 Rajendra Prasad Panta said, “Construction of final tunnel support structures is expected to take at least three to four months if the contractor works as promised.”

Officials also said that the contractor was yet to build three ventilation shafts, which is drilled through vertical plain above the tunnel. Ventilation shafts are built for the purpose of maintaining air pressure inside the tunnel.

Similarly, construction of headworks, diversion weir, intake structure and desiccating basin to filter the water before being supplied to the tunnels are yet to be built. The MWSP is thus planning to directly supply water from the river through large pipes before the headworks construction is completed.

It will then take another three months to check the entire distribution system before the water is supplied to households, according to the MWSP officials.

The Office of Melamchi Drinking Water Project had earlier promised to complete the project by July 26, but work was delayed due to frequent strikes.

The project plans to supply 510 million litres of water per day to the Valley from the Melamchi, Yangri, and Larke rivers of Sindhupalchowk district. Initially, it will supply 170 million litres of water of Melamchi River to the Valley and in the second phase the Yangri and Larke rivers will be diverted to Melamchi and an additional 340 million litres of water will be supplied.