Melamchi water has not yet been fully distributed

Published On: December 17, 2022 09:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 17: The Melamchi Water Supply Project has not been able to distribute the entire water brought to the capital from Ambathan, the source of Melamchi river in Sindhupalchowk district, eight days ago.

Out of 175 million litres of water pumped into the reservoirs of the project in Kathmandu through a tunnel on December 4, MWSP is yet to distribute 35.5 million litres in the valley. 

The much-awaited water supply resumed on December 9 - the sixth day after the capital received water  from the source. It was the third time that the MWSP distributed water in the capital as it resumed the erratic supply which has been time and again disrupted by natural calamities. But the project is yet to distribute all the water that was channeled to the capital after repairing the headworks temporarily.

Kathmandu Upatyaka  Khanepani Limited (KUKL), which is responsible for the supply chain, said that it has not been possible to distribute all the water due to problems in the distribution network, which had been closed for six months. Out of 175 million liters brought to the Sundarijal Water Treatment Plant through a 26.5 km tunnel from the Melamchi River, only 140 million liters of water is currently being distributed in the capital.

Due to lack of regular water supply in the new distribution network constructed by the KUKL Project Implementation Directorate, the arrangement of the 'sequence' in some ‘valves’ has been taking time. Due to this, all the water has not yet been distributed in the capital. KUKL spokesperson Prakash Kumar Rai said that it will take a few more days to distribute all the water pumped to the capital.

So far, water from Melamchi has reached nine of the 10 water tanks built for distribution in the capital. As of now, Melamchi water has reached the water tanks in Bode, Katunje, Khumaltar, Minbhawan, Mahankal Chaur, Panipokhari, Anamnagar, Balaju and Bansbari. He said that it will take a few more days for the water to reach the tank in Kirtipur. Within a few days, 175 million liters of water brought from Melamchi will reach the customers' taps.     


There is also a problem of water leaking in the roads due to broken pipes in many places. According to KUKL, water is being distributed by solving such problems.

Water testing has not yet been done at the several locations of the new distribution network constructed by the project directorate. 

Water testing was stopped in June last year after water from Melamchi could not be supplied due to damages caused by the massive flooding in Melamchi. 

Complaints about not getting water

Local residents of the Sundarijal area, where water is brought from Melamchi and processed, have complained about not getting water. Local residents of Gokarneshwar Municipality-1 Mahankal and below, where 175 million liters of water brought from Melamchi is processed, have complained that they are not getting water. Kageshwari Manohara Municipality-1 is situated just opposite to Mahankal.  Even the people there do not have easy access to drinking water.

The residents of these areas, where the water from the Bagmati River estuary and the Melamchi River will be brought for treatment, say that they will not allow the treated water to be distributed in the capital because they are not getting drinking water. The people's representatives elected at the local levels of this area have warned of pumping the water at the treatment plant into the Bagmati River because the residents of the estuary have been deprived of drinking water  from Melamchi.

Bhimsen Kafle, a local, has requested the concerned authorities to implement the suggestions. No new network has been constructed for Melamchi water distribution in Gokarneshwar and Kageshwari Manohara Municipal. Narayan Bahadur Subedi, the spokesperson of Gokarneshwar Municipality, says that the demand of the local residents to be provided regular water of Bagmati River from the old distribution network  has not been heard.

Years have passed since water supply stopped in Gokarneshwar area. The municipality is going to build a tank after several  requests were made to the concerned bodies to solve the water problem in this high-altitude settlement, said  Ward chairman Jairam Mahat.

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