Locals worried as progress slows on Khotang drinking water project

Published On: August 13, 2019 05:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KHOTANG, Aug 13: Halesi-Khotang Drinking Water Project in Halesi Tuwachung Municipality is not gaining pace due to dilly-dallying by the contractor.

Though construction deadline of the project to pump water from Dudhkoshi River – some 1,300 meters below the village – is only five months away, only about 25 percent of the work has been completed so far, according to Iwan Rai, Mayor of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality.

Realizing that the project is not going to be completed within the deadline, a team of local stakeholders called on Minister for Water Supply Bina Magar and drew the attention of the latter toward the slow progress of the key project. The team comprised of Mayor Rai; Ramesh Poudel, central chairman of Youth Association; Surendra Rai, chairman of Nepal Communist Party Halesi Twachung Town Committee, among others.

The team briefed Minister Magar about the project and urged her to prod the contractor, Diwa-Mahadev-Khimti JV, for completing the project at the earliest.

The project will lift water from Dudhkoshi River to Bhumjadada in Ward 2 and Kavredanda Ward 7 of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality. As per the contract signed on July 5, 2017, the project has to be completed by January 2 next year.

"We requested Minister Magar to take needful initiative for expediting the work as the progress of the project worth tens of millions of rupees is far from satisfactory," Mayor Rai said, adding: "The project was started to supply and distribute drinking water in Ward 7 of the municipality which has been reeling under acute shortage of drinking water."

Locals also complain that the work progress of distribution line is also not satisfactory. Lama Construction JV and Raman-Sagarmatha Ghimire JV are the contractors of the distribution line.

The lifting drinking water project was started with an aim of supplying water from the Dudhkoshi River to 3,756 households of Ward 7 of the municipality. The project, which is estimated to cost Rs 920 million, is designed to lift 600,000 liters of water from Dudhkoshi River every day. Locals of Bahunidada, Dikuwa, Chyasmitar, Badahare, Halesi, Durchim and Mangaltar will be benefited by the project.

According to a committee formed by local consumers, two tanks having capacity of 400,000 liters each will be built in Kavredanda and Bhumju for effective distribution of drinking water.

District Natural Disaster Management Committee, Khotang, had declared the area as 'drought-ridden' in 2011.

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