Six years on, completion of drinking water project still uncertain

Published On: October 14, 2019 10:24 AM NPT By: Madhusudan Guragain

BANEPA, Oct 14: The construction of Kavre Valley Drinking Water Supply Project, which was expected to be completed within two years from the date of agreement with the Chinese company, is yet to be completed even after more than six years.

The contract of the project – which started in 2013 – has already been renewed eight times in the last six years, but the project completion is still uncertain as the last deadline ends on October 31. The project was initiated aiming at supplying clean drinking water to more than 93,000 residents of Banepa, Dhulikhel and Panauti.

According to Keshav Prasad Mainali, a resident of Banepa-4, Banepa Municipality had collected money from the residents ensuring the project would be completed by the end of mid-April 2015. Mainali paid the said amount to the municipality in May 2015, but he has no hopes that the project would be completed.

“Drinking water has been a big problem in Banepa Municipality. The locally elected representatives had promised to expedite the project, but it didn't happen,” Mainali said, adding that there is a crisis of drinking water even in the rainy season. 

Meanwhile, the project claims that the construction has gained pace in recent times. “Almost 94 percent of physical infrastructure has been completed. Also, the construction of the main line is also complete. There will be no more delay in the construction,” Narayan Sundar Shrestha, chief of the project, said, adding that only leakage and pressure test are to be performed.

“The contractor has already installed 304,000-meter pipes in the regional system, Banepa, Dhulikhel and Panauti. Now, only 33,000-meter is to be installed in the region,” Shrestha added.

The contract of the project was awarded to a Chinese company NingShing International Inc on June 12, 2013. Exim Nepal Pvt Ltd, a representative of NingShing International Inc, in Nepal has been constructing the project. The construction was expected to be completed at a cost of Rs 673 million, but already a total of Rs 991 million (excluding VAT) has been spent on the project.

According to Shrestha, the project cost will jump to Rs 1.29 billion by the time of completion. For the construction of the project, 50 percent loan has been taken from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Likewise, Town Development Fund (TDF) has invested 35 percent of amount, and 15 percent has been collected from the residents. As per the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the contractor had to handover the project within 730 days from the date of agreement. The project aims to supply 65-70 liters of water per person a day in the project area.

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