Work on reconstruction of the access road to Melamchi Water Supply Project site at Ambathan of Sindhupalchowk has gained pace. The approach road for the project has remained obstructed for around three months after the June 15 flood.

Reconstruction of the road will ease locals movement in the area and also help expedite the repair work of the flood-damaged structures of the project.

So far, the track has been opened along the 14-km stretch of 22-km road section from Melamchi Bridge Bazaar to Ambathan.

Now, eight-km of the road remains to be opened from Chanaute. But it seems that now it requires a break to continue with works ahead as currently Chanaute remains inaccessible by an easy means of transport after the Red Bridge here was washed away by the flood. Two more bridges ahead of Chanaute were also swept away in the disaster.

Details of exact loss at the national pride project caused by flooding have yet to be ascertained.

Road is inaccessible to the project site making it difficult for technical teams to collect details of the loss, said Spokesperson for the ministry Ramesh Neupane.

Construction of a new track to the project site is underway as the old road has been swept away by flooding, he said. Loss caused by flooding on June 15 has been estimated to be at approximately Rs 1 billion and loss caused by flooding in following time in the Nepali month of Saun has increased to around Rs 2.4 billion, said the project.

Estimated expenditures on the repair and reconstruction would be determined when technical teams reach the project site to collect the details of exact loss, he said.

MWSP is a project to supply drinking water to Kathmandu Valley by diverting 170 million litres of water per day. The project started in 1998 and completed in 2021. The intake of this project is located in Melamchi, Nepal. Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport (Nepal) is the executing agency for the Project and Melamchi Water Supply Development Board is the implementing agency.

The MWSP was projected to cost US$ 464 million in 2000 prices.

According to the original financial plan, ADB shouldered the largest financing share (US$120 million equivalent) followed by the World Bank (US$80 million), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), US$52 million equivalent), NORAD (US$28 million equivalent), Sida (US$ 25 million equivalent), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA, $18 million equivalent), the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development (OFID/ OPEC), $14 million equivalent), and NDF ($9 million equivalent).

The government's original financing share in the MWSP was $ 118 million equivalent.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 21 2021, of The Himalayan Times.