Tunnel digging of Melamchi project slows down

CHAUTARA: The tunnel digging process of the much-awaited Melamchi Water Supply Project has slowed down on its final stage.

The construction works on the tunnel of the project have been delayed as the construction company has not been carrying out tunnel digging works regularly citing lack of construction materials, according to the project's senior engineer and Information Officer Rajendra Panta,. He added that the construction works have been delayed as the digging are being carried only up to a metre to eight metres on the working days.

Although the project has been saying that the tunnel construction works will be completed by March 28 and water will be supplied to Kathmandu thereafter, works still remains to be carried out on 273 metres, including 223 metres on the Gyalthum-Sindhu section and 50 metres at the Gyalthum audit.

So far 27.227 of the total 27.5 kilometres of the tunnel from Ambathan to Sundarijal has been constructed. Ambathan of Helambu Rural Municipality in Sindhupalchok district is the place from where the water from the Melamchi River would be drawn for supplying it to Kathmandu Valley.

The construction company cited lack of construction materials like cements, and also lack of fuels and money as the cause of delay in the works, informed the project.

The Italian company, Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti – Cmc di Ravenna is undertaking the construction works after the contract agreement worth Rs 7.72 billion was signed with this company in July 2013.

The project term has been extended time and time again with it being extended for the last time until March this year.