KATHMANDU, March 6: The residents of the Kathmandu Valley have come very close to their long-cherished dream of quenching their thirst with the water from the Melamchi River in Sindhupalchowk as the river water, supplied through a 26-km long tunnel, reached the Valley’s Sundarijal Saturday evening.
Prime Minister KP Oli discharged the Melamchi water to the Bagmati River by turning a switch on amidst a special function held in Sundarijal. Addressing the function, Prime Minister Oli said that it was news of happiness to all those living in the Kathmandu Valley.
Since the water supplied through a tunnel for the first time was dirty and full of mud, sand and pebbles, the Malamchi Drinking Water Supply Project decided to discharge the water into the Bagmati River. The supply of the water from Malamchi River into the tunnel will be halted for sometime to make sure that there are no technical glitches.
The water from the Malamchi River will be filled in the water tunnel and collected in the Water Treatment Plants built in Sundarijal before supplying it to the households in the Kathmandu Valley, according to project officials. Kathmandu Valley households are expected to receive drinking water supplied by the Melamchi Drinking Water Project by mid-April.
Earlier on February 22, the Malamchi Drinking Water Project had supplied water into the tunnel to test if it still had some technical glitches after the tunnel construction was completed. The Melamchi Drinking Water Project has built water treatment plants in Sundarijal to treat the water brought from the Melamchi River before supplying it to the households in the Kathmandu Valley
The drinking water from Melamchi is expected to be available to the people in the Kathmandu Valley soon if things go as planned. As both the Sundarijal Water Treatment Plant and distribution pipes also need to be tested, people in the Kathmandu Valley are likely to get access to Melamchi Drinking Water from the month of April.
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. Two of them were rescued immediately while two others lost their lives in the incident. The testing of the tunnel was then postponed in view of technical problems.
In view of a possible catastrophe, a rescue plan has been set up and a helicopter has been kept 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 the Kathmandu Valley.
The Melamchi Drinking Water Project can bring in 51,000,000 liters of water daily in the Valley.