Melamchi water to reach households on Sunday

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By Month Dhakal

Kathmandu, Apr 20 : The Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) is making preparations to send water from the Melamchi Water supply Project (MWSP) to the households in the Kathmandu Valley from coming Sunday. 

"If things went as planned and projected, we will be able to supply water to our consumers in the next five days," said Prakash Kumar Rai, Deputy Manager of KUKL. 

Earlier, the Ministry of Water Supply had announced that the water from the Melamchi in Sindhupalchok would be brought to the valley on the first day of the Nepali New Year, 2079. Tuesday is the 6th day of the year. 

KUKL's supply pipeline network is ready to pump water but in the first phase, water would be transmitted through the old network. 

However, households connected with the new supply network could get the water depending on the amount of water arriving in the Kathmandu valley. Rai said that the water utility had designed the supply plan in a way it would benefit maximum consumers. 

The MWSP had sent water to the tunnel last week and the water reached the Sundarijal side in the valley on Tuesday. The water will be held in the tunnel for about five days to get it filled and clean up. According to Bashu Dev Paudyal, Executive Director of the Melamchi Water Supply Development Board, it will take maximum of five days to fill up the 26.5 km long tunnel of the project. 

He said that after filling the tunnel, the water would be flown to the treatment plant in Sundarijal and within 5-6 hours it would be sent to the distribution networks. 

Meanwhile, the work to clean the debris deposited by the floods and landslide upstream of the Melamchi River in Sindhupalchowk on July 15 last year. Headworks and a part of the tunnel of the national pride project was damaged in the disasters caused by torrential rains. The structures were buried about 15 meters down in the debris. 

The work to restore the project had begun by the end of January this year. "About 75 percent debris is removed from the site and top of headworks is visible now. The site would be cleared and assessment would be conducted before the coming monsoon," said Paudyal. When the floods hit the headworks, the project had completed the construction of civil works of the headworks 

and only a small amount of hydro-mechanical and electrical work was remaining. Earlier, on 2 April 2021, President Bidya Devi Bhandari inaugurated the distribution of Melamchi water by letting a tap flow at the Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu. 

The project was conceptualized about five decades ago and construction was started about two decades ago. It witnessed multiple deadline extensions and cost overruns, which have almost doubled by now. In the first phase, the project is supposed to bring about 170 million liters of water a day in Kathmandu. 

In the second phase, 340 million liters of water from the Yangri and Larke rivers would be added to the system. 

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