Kathmandu, December 27:

Parliamentarians today discussed on the possibility of expanding the $ 500-dollar project of bringing water from the Melamchi valley, which would also include components of hydroelectricity and irrigation.

A discussion on the new concept of the Multipurpose Melamchi Water Project was held today at the Parliamentary Natural Resources Committee.

Lawmaker Lokendra Bista said if there are possibilities that the old Melamchi project could be expanded and also provide the benefits of electricity and irrigation, the government should consider on it.

“If we can think about making a new Nepal with a new concept, there is no reason why we cannot think over this,” he said adding, the government and parties should study the possibility and be committed to make it a reality. Basanta Nembang, member of the parliamentary committee, said the concept itself is flawless but a problem may arise at the implementation stage if the matter is not discussed further.

“Along with the positive aspects, we have to think also about the possible problems the state could be facing,” he said.

Member of the National Planning Commission, Ramakanta Gauro, said the project is appreciable but raises a question on the possibility of its implementation. He also said the project would be a success if it is completed in time and a financier backs it.

However, the officials related to the Melamchi Water Supply Project raised objection on the project.

Hariram Koirala, executive director of MWSP, said the project might need an institutional reformation and it is not possible to expand the project using the present infrastructure. “ADB is going to sanction our loan next month and we have to handle bidders for the construction soon. There will be more problems if we change the parameter of the design,” he said.

Representatives from Nepal Electricity Authority, Department of Irrigation, Department of Electricity Development and other government and non-government organisations took part in the discussion.

Earlier, economist Ratna Sansar Shrestha made a presentation on the Multi-purpose Project.

According to him, 225 MW of electricity could be generated from the project which will provide 1.12 billion litres of water per day to valley residents.

“We can have six times more water and most of the cost will be handled by the electricity generators.”