‘Melamchi project won’t miss Dashain deadline’

Kathmandu, June 25

The government today declared that the highly anticipated Melamchi drinking water project will not miss the deadline of this year’s Dashain.

Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Bina Magar today said the confusion between the France based contractor Cooperative Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna and the government has been mitigated.

The contract between the contractor CMC and the government had ended on June 11, putting the much hyped project in limbo. The government and CMC were at odds since then.

Calling a press meet today, Minister Magar said the government was able to convince the France-based contractor Cooperative Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna to finish the project within the stipulated time.

According to Magar, the government has given additional 212 days to the contractor CMC to bring water to Kathmandu by Mid-October.

The CMC had sought additional 570 days to complete the project and demanded additional Rs 1.65 billion in compensation for loss due to earthquake. A ‘Dispute Board’ was also formed to resolve the problem after that.

Magar said the dispute was resolved after the ministry wrote a request letter to the CMC’s central office to visit the site and come for discussion. Following the request, the company’s Board Director along with two other officials visited the country and agreed to add 212 days more for the contractor.

The CMC, in April 12, had formally declared completion of the difficult portion of the 27.5 kilometres long tunnel. Around four Kilometres tunnel had already been excavated until 2013, by a China based contractor.

Magar, had declared that water would be brought to Kathmandu valley through the project before Dashain just a day before the breakthrough

According to officials of MWSP, the government also suspended  Thomas Barbich, the adviser of Epista, appointed by the government yesterday.