Increase diameter of Melamchi tunnel: Expert

Kathmandu, January 25:

Economist Ratna Sansar Shrestha today urged the government to increase the diameter of the 26-km long tunnel to be constructed from Melamchi to Kathmandu.

“By only increasing the diameter of the tunnel, one can open horizons of its further use, without causing an increase in the budget or delaying the project,” he said, addressing an interaction on the vision of multiple Melamchi project.

With the proposed tunnel of 3.7 metres diameter, it will be difficult to use modern equipment inside it efficiency and would make it more time consuming and expensive for construction, he said adding that increasing the tunnel diameter to 5 metres would make the construction work cheap and fast and also it could be brought for multiple uses.

Ministry of Physical Planning and Works had recently informed that construction of the tunnel would begin by 2009. By adding three other rivers — Yangri, Larke and Balephi — with the Melamchi we can bring some 112 million litres of water into Kathmandu every day, generate 225 MW of electricity, and irrigate 30,000 hectares of land.