Water supply from Melamchi likely to be delayed by six months

Kathmandu, August 3

Melamchi Water Supply Project is likely to begin supplying water to Kathmandu Valley six months after its third deadline expires in October.

According to Melamchi Water Supply Development Board, weak rocks has been creating problems in tunnel excavation. Due to weak rock formation, monthly tunnel excavation speed has decreased to 500 metres from approximately 1,000 metres per month.

Deputy Executive Director of MWSDB Ramakanta Duwadi said the project still had 2,200 metres of tunnel to excavate and if no improvement was seen it would take five months to compete the work.

“After completion of tunnel work, it will take another three months to begin supplying water,” Duwadi told The Himalayan Times. He said besides weak rock formation, gas related problem was also creating hurdle. He added since the length was the remaining tunnel was not much, there was no possibility of introducing new technology by making a huge investment.

The project’s first deadline expired in 2007 and second deadline in 2016. On April 3 this year, the project’s deadline was extended till October 2017.

Started on 21 December 2000, the Melamchi Water Supply Project is assisted by the Asian Development Bank and aims to reduce drinking water scarcity in the Valley. The Melamchi project envisages supplying 510,000,000 litres of water per day to the Valley from the Melamchi, Yangri, and Larke rivers of Sindhupalchowk district.

Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited is the only organisation that supplies water to 2,700,000 people in the Valley.

The daily demand of water in Kathmandu Valley stands at 370,000,000 litres, while daily supply stands at 110,000,000 litres. Of the 110,000,000 litres of water supplied per day, KUKL admitted that 30 to 40 per cent of water leaks through pipelines laid during the Rana regime. KUKL collects 65 per cent of its water from the surface and 35 per cent from underground.