Nepal | June 02, 2020

Rain, rain everywhere, but not a drop to drink

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, July 9

With monsoon picking up, it’s raining everywhere, but taps in a majority of households in Kathmandu Valley are still running dry.

Sushmita Putuwar, a resident of Kathmandu Metropolitan City-16, spends hours everyday to fetch a bucket of water. Although she has a water supply connection, the supply is irregular and she has stopped depending on Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited for drinking water.

“KUKL is supposed to supply water for four hours twice a week. But since we have received no water for months, I have stopped relying on it,” she told The Himalayan Times, adding, “Instead, I manage water from other sources such as private water suppliers.”

According to KMC Ward No 16 office, it has received complaints from the public regarding poor water supply. “We ask people to go to the concerned office, but the fact is people no longer have trust in services provided by the government,” said Archana Bhandari, social mobiliser of KMC-16, and added that most of the complaints KMC received were from Balaju and Bohoratar areas.

KUKL, on the other hand, said it was responding to complaints from its 10 branch offices as well as the central office in Tripureshwor. KUKL Spokesperson Suresh Prasad Acharya said KUKL was committed to addressing public complaints regarding water supply.

Acharya said KUKL had not been able to supply water regularly due to its limited capacity. “For the time being, we don’t have option other than waiting for completion of Melamchi water supply project,” he added.

The current daily demand of water in Kathmandu Valley is around 370,000,000 litres, while daily supply stands at 120,000,000 litres per day. Of the currently supplied 120,000,000 litres of water per day, KUKL more than 20 per cent of the water leaks through years old water supply pipelines laid  during the Rana regime.

KUKL collects 65 per cent of its water from the surface, and 35 per cent from underground. The organisation has 61 deep tube wells and 17 water tankers. Private tankers supply 30,000,000 litres of water every day in the Valley.

Meanwhile, Melamchi Water Supply Development Board has said it will not be able to supply water to Kathmandu Valley by October. The project will supply 510,000,000 litres of water per day to the Valley from the Melamchi, Yangr, and Larke rivers of Sindhupalchowk district.

A version of this article appears in print on July 10, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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