Kathmandu, September 17
The Melamchi Water Supply Project today began test operation of its Sundarijal-based water treatment plant and bulk distribution system.
According to MWSDB, test operation of the water treatment plant began at 12:00 noon and treated water was released through the bulk distribution system.
Deputy Executive Director at Melamchi Water Supply Development Board Ramakanta Duwadi said water from the Bagmati River was being used for test operation. The water has been brought to the treatment plant through a 500-metre pipeline by building a small intake dam in the river.
The second deadline for completion of the water treatment plant expired last week.“We used water from the Bagmati River as there is no huge source of water nearby. We will continue test operation till the water level remains high in the river,” Duwadi told THT.
“During test operation we check the treatment plant by running it up to 168 hours. If the plant works properly without any glitch, we consider it perfect for full-fledged operation. If there is a glitch, the contractor needs to rectify it,” Duwadi added.
The plant has the capacity of treating 85 million litres of water per day but due to lack of water sources nearby, only 30 to 40 million litres water is being used.
A joint venture of VA Tech Wabag Limited and Indian firm Pratibha Industries Limited had won the Rs 4.2 billion contract to construct the water treatment plant
According to MWSDB, after an agreement in 2014 the contractor began construction of the plant in 2015. The treatment plant was supposed to be completed in March, 2016. However, the government had extended the project deadline following the devastating 2015 earthquakes.
MWSDB said it had slapped penalty on the contractor for not completing the project on time. The contractor is required to pay 0.05 per cent of total accepted contract amount per day in penalty for missing the deadline.
Melamchi Water Supply Project has been facing problems in tunnel excavation due to weak rock formation. As a result, it is likely to miss its third deadline for supplying water to Kathmandu Valley. The project’s third deadline is expiring in October 2017.
The project envisages supplying 510,000,000 litres of water per day to the Valley from the Melamchi, Yangri, and Larke rivers of Sindhupalchowk district.
A version of this article appears in print on September 18, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.