Work on Pokhara Drinking Water Project resumes


Work on Project for Improvement of Water Supply in Pokhara, the second-largest drinking water project in the country in terms of investment after Melamchi Water Supply Project, has resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The project halted its work for more than five months due to the lockdown imposed to prevent and control coronavirus infection. Currently, a Japanese national and 70 Nepali workers are working at the project site after resumption of the project.

However, the project has faced some challenges due to lack of other technical human resources, mostly from Japan.

Officials said project works would move ahead smoothly after Dashain festival and the arrival of Japanese technical expertise on October 2. Japan International Cooperation Agency has extended Rs five billion in assistance for the development of the project.

Engineer of Water Supply Corporation Santosh Kumar Das said that eight technical human resources were scheduled to arrive in Nepal from Japan and they would join the project after completing certain health protocols and staying in quarantine.

Only 25 per cent of the total physical progress has been achieved despite the agreement to complete the project by 11 August 2021.

Drinking water in the tourist city will be distributed after the water treatment from Mardikhola and the distribution line are upgraded under the Project for Improvement of Water Supply in Pokhara.

Construction of a grid chamber and sedimentation tank is going on near the water source at Mardikhola. The sedimentation tank has the capacity of processing 42 million litres water daily. The processed water from the sedimentation pond will be taken to the ‘slow and filter’ that is being constructed at Puranochaur of Pokhara, some two kilometres away from the sedimentation pond. Other structures are also in the process of being constructed. Sixty per cent work of the ‘slow and filter’ has been completed.

The Japanese company is responsible for 90 per cent of the project while the corporation has responsibility for 10 per cent.

The corporation will invest Rs 400 million in the project.

The government and JICA signed the agreement for the project on 15 February 2017.

The project will benefit 405,889 people of 19 wards of Pokhara Metropolitan City.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 30, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.