The Valley has witnessed the population growth geometrically every time the country witnessed major political upheavals since the 1990s
It has been 26 years since the multi-million dollar ambitious Melamchi Drinking Water Project was initiated with a view to supplying drinking water to over four million population of the Kathmandu Valley which has been facing water crisis since long.
The concept of developing MDWP was developed way back in the 1990s immediately after the restoration of multi-party democracy.
It took many years to actually conceptualise the idea and look for potential donors who could provide funds for the project. Waters from the Melamchi, Yangri and Larke Rivers will be brought to the Valley through a 27-km long tunnel, the major task of the project that has remained incomplete yet.
Earlier a Chinese contractor was awarded to construct the tunnel but its contract was terminated after it failed to make any progress.
Many donor agencies, including Norad, which had pledged to provide loans for the project walked away after the Royal takeover in 2002-2005 further delaying the completion of the much-hyped project that has turned to be a white elephant.
It is still unclear when the people of the Valley will be able to quench their thirst with water from the Melamchi river.
According to the plan, it was supposed to complete MDWP by 2007. But it has been nine years since the last target of its completion was set.
Under the first phase, 170 million liters of water a day was supposed to have been brought in the Valley which was a 40 million liters shortfall of the 2007 projection.
Daily demand in the Valley has already crossed 370 million liters.
If the current trend of work continues it will take another decade to bring in water from the Yangri and Larke Rivers as their DPR is being developed. Officials at the project said Rs. 16 billion has been spent so far and an additional Rs 23 billion will be required to complete the rest of the project.
Still, 12 kilometers of the 27-km long tunnel has yet to be dug and it will take one more year to dig the remaining portion as only a one kilometer tunnel is dug per month.
The Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited says that demand of potable water will rise from 210 mld in 2007 to 510 mld by 2025 and it will be more than 510 mld by 2030. But MDWP will not have any other sources of water that can be added to meet the growing demand of the Valley.
The government has to find other sources of water from within the Valley tapping the already depleting ground water resource and building several reservoirs to tap the rain waters surrounding the Valley hills are better options.
The ground water resource cannot be further exploited given the depletion of water level which has already gone down as deep as ten metres. The Valley has witnessed the population growth geometrically every time the country witnessed major political upheavals since the 1990s.
If the population growth in the Valley is not controlled by providing equal and proportional development opportunities outside the Valley under the federal setup the water crisis in the Valley will remain unresolved.
Matter of heart
When it comes to donating for a noble cause, it is not necessary that moneyed people give more and people with less money less or nothing at all.
It is a matter of the size of one’s heart, though the possession of money makes giving much easier and bigger when the heart bleeds.
Most of our business tycoons are not seen to have contributed according to their capacity when society badly needs their support whereas we have seen many less endowed people who have given away more generously.
In a Bhaktapur school, students are reported to donate money on their birthdays to a fund meant to support libraries in rural villages. Each student contributes fifty rupees and each teacher five hundred rupees.
According to the principal, this practice has been started to instill a sense of social responsibility in the students. The idea is praiseworthy. This was a departure from the school’s past practice which required students to bring along expensive chocolates to school for distribution.
This approach could be extended to other areas of life where people could spend less on extravaganza and something for a social cause.
While the school management seeks to teach its students a practical lesson in social responsibility, whether it also practices it is a matter of question. Many school owners disappoint.
A version of this article appears in print on May 17, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.
Kathmandu, January 15 Seen in the pictures below are youth activists affiliated to the main opposition Nepali Congress taking part in a tug of war during a protest against the dissolution of House, in Kathmandu, on Friday. On December 20, PM Oli recommended the dissolution of House of Represen Read More...
KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana today ruled that cases field against the dissolution of the House of Representatives would be heard by the same bench continuously from Sunday. The SC passed the order after hear Read More...
MAMUJU, INDONESIA: A strong, shallow earthquake shook Indonesia's Sulawesi island just after midnight Friday, toppling homes and buildings, triggering landslides and killing at least 42 people. More than 600 people were injured by the magnitude 6.2 quake, which sent people fleeing their homes in Read More...
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE: President-elect Joe Biden pledged Friday to boost supplies of coronavirus vaccine and set up new vaccination sites to meet his goal of 100 million shots in 100 days. It's part of a broader COVID strategy that also seeks to straighten out snags in testing and ensure minority com Read More...
KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Nepal Communist Party (NCP) led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal today decided to seek clarification from Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for acting against the party’s objectives, goals, programmes, and statute. NCP Standing Committee member Bhim Bahadur Rawal Read More...
All-time record scorer for England and Manchester United. A haul of 16 trophies. Wayne Rooney's illustrious playing career is over. Former England and United captain has decided it's time to focus on trying to replicate his successes as a striker in management. After taking temporary charg Read More...
KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali today said in New Delhi that finding an agreeable boundary alignment in the remaining segments might not only take Nepal and India to the stage of fully settled international boundary, but might also help generate positive vi Read More...
KATHMANDU, JANUARY 15 Nepali Congress is set to hold protests against the dissolution of the House of Representatives in all the 753 local levels on Saturday. Issuing a press release, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba appealed to all the citizens to express solidarity with the protest to be held Read More...