All pacts with Severn Trent scrapped

Kathmandu, August 21:

Minister for Physical Planning and Works Hisila Yami said today that the Nepal government has decided to scrap all agreements made with the Severn Trent Water International Limited and the drinking water supply would be managed in “a novel way considering the poor living standard of the Nepali people.”

The meeting of the cabinet of ministers held here yesterday made the decision, she said at a press conference organised here today.

The cabinet has also decided to appoint the officials at the Drinking Water Charge Determining Commission.

Minister Yami said the ministry is consulting with the Asian Development Bank to begin the construction of a tunnel of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project.

She also said the ministry is preparing to cut down manpower to 81 from the existing 133 citing that such a large workforce was not necessary while changing the working pattern of the project.

Work on the project has already begun from yesterday with some 75 per cent of the management employees.

The Ministry of Physical Planning and Works also said the “Bagmati Samman Puraskar” with a purse of Rs 100,000 would be awarded every year to a person or an organisation contributing to make the Kathmandu Valley a less polluted city.

Under the Save Bagmati Campaign, some 20 security posts would be established at the riversides of Bagmati between Sundarijal and Chovar to control illegal activities, including theft of sand and conserving the government-owned land.

Each post would have five people from the families of the ‘martyrs’ of the people’s movement and people’s war and the missing people during the war.

The government has allocated Rs 15 crore for the voluntary retirement of some 220 employees of the Nepal Water Supply Corporation.

Yami said Water Testing Laboratories would be established at five different places of the Valley to monitor the quality of the water being supplied to Valley denizens.

A high-level monitoring committee would also be formed under the chairmanship of minister

in the Public Private Partnership model, a release issued at the conference said.