Kathmandu, April 1:

The Ministry of Physical Planning and Construction today demanded action against those involved in intimidating and roughing up employees, contractors and advisors working with the Melamchi Drinking Water Project yesterday.

The incident took place during a meeting being held at a local school near the site of the multi-million rupee project. The meeting was called to discuss the crisis thrown up by the latest instance of local residents demanding a bulldozer for personal use from the project office and the subsequent denial on Thursday. The locals have stopped the movement of the project vehicles since Thursday. “The locals have been coming up with arbitrary demands now and then. The Sindhupalchowk Chief District Officer (CDO) and the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) had reached the spot to settle the issue amicably. But any effort to sort out the row was overtaken by a mob yesterday evening, leaving many injured,” said a statement issued by the MoPPC spokesman, Ishwari Prasad Paudel.

The statement also said that the mega project, which is already behind schedule, has been further delayed due to the locals’ demands.

“This will not only delay the project further but will also result in the loss of millions of rupees,” Paudel said.