Nepal | August 12, 2020

Government to probe Melamchi tunnel accident

Himalayan News Service
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The Ministry of Water Supply today formed a high level probe committee to investigate yesterday’s accident at the audit tunnel of Melamchi Water Supply Project where an ‘accidental’ blow of water from the major tunnel had washed away a vehicle inside the audit tunnel, after which two persons working at the project went missing.

The ministry, issuing a press release today said it had formed a high-level investigation committee to find how the accident occurred. “A technical committee under the joint-secretary of the ministry will probe the event, which occurred despite the high security measures in place,” the press release reads.

The ministry also said it had given utmost priority to the search operation for the missing with support from the Ministry of Home Affairs, security forces and the local government.

Those missing in the accident are; engineer Satish Goit of Dhanusa district representing the contracting company Sinohydro and vehicle driver Radha Krishna Thapa Magar of Godavari, in Lalitpur, representing Melamchi Drinking Water Project.

Two other person , engineer Sekhar Khanal of the project and its consultant Pemba Lama, a local resident of Melamchi, were rescued by locals. They are undergoing treatment at Kathmandu based Grandee Hospital and are out of danger, as per the ministry.

The four employees had gone inside the audit tunnel at Aambathan in a bid to fix one of the three gates at the major tunnel that passes from Melamchi River to Sundarijal in Kathmandu. The ministry said in its statement that they had driven around 200 metres inside the tunnel reaching gate no 17, when the water gushed out flushing the vehicle outside the audit tunnel into the Melamchi river.

The MDWP had, in mid- March, conducted a water inflow test along a limited route of the tunnel from Melamchi River to the Aambathan tunnel in the presence of the Minister of Drinking Water Bina Magar.

Minister Magar had vowed to speed up the project with the aim of completing it by the end of the current fiscal year, which ends after a few days.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 16, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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