KATHMANDU, Aug 21: The government has selected China's state-owned company Sinohydro to complete the tunnel and head works of the Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP), that was left unfinished by Italian contractor Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) di Ravenna last year.
The Melamchi Water Supply Development Board has invited the Chinese company to sign an agreement.
The board asked the company to sign the deal following the approval of a proposal to select the company for the remaining works by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which will be funding the project.
Chief of the project Surya Raj Kandel said that Sinohydro was selected for the task of building the project's head works and tunnel as the company proposed the lowest rate for the contract in the tender bid.
“Sinohydro proposed the lowest rate to complete the work and we decided to select the company as per the provision of Public Procurement Act,” said Kandel, adding, “The board has asked the company to sign the agreement within 14 days.”
The estimated cost of the head works was Rs 1.12 billion while the construction of the tunnel was expected to cost Rs 950 million. However, the Chinese company has agreed to complete the head works for Rs 900 million and the tunnel for Rs 750 million.
The board had corresponded with the ADB to approve the contractor two weeks ago and the latter agreed to the proposal last week.
Project chief Kandel said they have asked the contractor to sign the agreement as soon as possible “because we are trying to complete the unfinished works of the project in a fast-track approach”.
This decision has now paved the way for completing the tasks that the Italian company had abandoned abruptly in last December.
The project, which was initiated over three decades ago, is believed to ease the water crisis in Kathmandu Valley by supplying 170 million liters of water a day from Melamchi River of Sindhupalchowk district.