SINDHUPALCHOWK, Feb 22: The long-awaited Melamchi Drinking Water Project is set to start supplying drinking water in Kathmandu Valley within the next few months.
With the completion of tunnel construction, the Project is testing its 22-Kilometer long water tunnel on Monday filling water in it. The drinking water is expected to be available to people in Kathmandu Valley within a few months if things go as planned.
“The project is almost completed. All the necessary preparations for testing have been already completed. The testing of tunnels is being conducted starting Monday” said Tejprakash Khatri, Executive Director of the project. “Sundarijal in Kathmandu will witness Melamchi Drinking Water being collected within 15 to 16 days.”
As both the Sundarijal Water Treatment Plant and distribution pipes also need to be tested, people in Kathmandu Valley are likely to get access to Melamchi Drinking Water from the month of April, according to Khatri.
Likewise, the Minister for the Water Supply, Mani Chandra Thapa is visiting Helambu - the source of Melamchi Drinking Water – to witness the testing of water tunnels on Monday.
The project had conducted similar testing last July. However, four employees at the Melamchi Drinking Water Project were swept away by the Melamchi River when a water tunnel burst out. Two of them were rescued immediately while two others lost their lives in the incident. The testing of the tunnel was then postponed in the view of technical problems.
In the view of possible catastrophe, a rescue plan has been set up and a helicopter has been kept in stand by, according to officials at the Melamchi Drinking Water Project.
After the testing of the Melamchi Drinking Water tunnel, testing of water distribution pipe lines will be conducted. Once the testing is completed the water will then be distributed to the public in Kathmandu Valley.
The Melamchi Drinking Water Project can bring in 51,000,000 liters of water daily in the Valley. During the testing, 300 liters of water will be passed through the tunnel per second.