Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP) will miss its deadline of completing the project before Dashain festival as it needs two more months to finish pending work and start water supply to households in Kathmandu valley, a senior official said on Thursday.
Melamchi Water Supply Development Board Executive Director Surya Raj Kandel told the meeting of the National Concern and Co-ordination Committee of the National Assembly on Thursday that the remaining work requires 60 days before Melamchi can supply water to consumers.
“At the current pace of work, we would be able to supply water to households in Kathmandu valley in the next two months,” said Kandel.
Tunnel concreting work progresses at the rate of 200-250 metres every day, and finishing work is complete over 15.38km of the total length of 25.8km, he said.
“Finishing work of the remaining section of the
tunnel is in the final stage. The remaining work would require another 30-40 days,” added Kandel.
After the tunnel breakthrough achieved in April this year, the Water Supply Ministry had announced drinking water from Melmachi River would reach residents of Kathmandu valley in the next three months.
Delays were inevitable because the construction work progressed slowly. Later, the government declared that the residents of Kathmandu valley would have access to water from Melamchi towards mid-October during Dashain festival.
After this announcement, a series of disagreements between the government and the Italian contractor Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) di Ravenna pushed the project completion date farther behind schedule.
“We had expected that water supply could start with concretisation of the tunnel from inside, therefore we declared Dashain as the deadline to start water supply. However, work turned out to be more complicated than we anticipated. This requires more time,” said Kandel.
The project is expected to divert 170 million litres of water from Melmachi in Sindhupalchok to Kathmandu valley in the first phase.