Govt starts fresh initiatives build structures to bring water from Melamchi to the capital even during rainy season

Published On: December 20, 2022 09:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 20: The government has started taking initiatives to make the water temporarily brought to the capital from the mouth of the Melamchi River located in Helambu Rural Municipality-1 of Sindhupalchok even during the rainy season.

According to the Melamchi Water Supply Project, work is being done on the construction of necessary structures to bring water even during rains.  During spring water was  being brought to the capital by making a temporary structure.

Rajendra Pant, the spokesperson of the project, informed the government that there is a discussion with the relevant agencies about bringing water to the capital by placing a filter at the main gate that brings water to prevent flooding and mud. Such a structure will prevent flooding in normal conditions. According to the project, this structure will not be able to withstand the flood that occurred on June 15, 2021, in about a century. This structure is going to be made for normal floods until the 'headwalks' are built.

The structure will be built before May

Pant said that a proposal has been prepared to make a temporary structure so that water can be brought to the capital even during rains. Such a structure will be built before next May.

According to the project, the cost for the temporary structure to be built to bring water even in the rainy season will not be much. The project has started an initiative to drain the water of Melamchi into the streams of the residents of the capital even in the five months of the rainy season with low cost and little time.

  The executive director of the project, Kamalraj Shrestha, said that the Council of Ministers should decide to give work to the builders who are currently working to build a structure that will receive water even in the rainy season by May.

According to the project, Melamchi's water will not be sent to the capital from June when the process of selection of construction professionals is going on. Currently, 175 million liters of water from the Melamchi river is coming to the capital every day. But the demand in the capital is 430 million liters of water.

Up to nine million liters of water is being supplied daily from the Bagmati source. The Ministry of Water Supply has said that it is studying the issue of bringing water to the capital quickly from the sources of the capital's forest areas and bordering districts.

The water of Melamchi, which reached the capital for the first time in the third week of March 2021, was shut off in the beginning of June 2021,  because the rain flood might enter the tunnel.

At that time, it was said that the work of 'Headworks' was going on. On June 15, 2021, the water supply project structure was damaged by the flood that fell from Bremathan on the mouth of the Melamchi river. Along with the structure, the 'headwalk' was also damaged by the flood.

After the damage, Melamchi water was distributed in the capital for the second time in March,2022, by building a structure with the help of Helambu Rural Municipality. After that, it was closed again from June, 2022, when the possibility of flooding increased according to the estimates of the concerned agencies including the Department of Water and Meteorology. The water of Melamchi, which was closed for the second time, was brought to the capital for the third time in the first week of December 2022.

"Headwork’s" construction study continues

After the damage to the headworks, the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Management and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are currently studying this issue.

Pant said that a team with experts is conducting a geological study to see if the headwalk can be built in the same place. The project has put forward a proposal to make a temporary structure to bring water even during rains, as the study report will not be completed before the construction of the headworks.

As the headworks have not been constructed, the Melamchi water could not be brought to the capital even during the rains, according to the project. So far, 31.11 billion rupees have been spent on the Melamchi water supply project.

In the budget statement of the current financial year, the government has decided to cancel the Melamchi Water Supply Development Committee, which has also affected the work of the project. As a result of the decision to abolish the committee, the employees have not received their salary yet.

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