By October, the Melamchi-Kathmandu Water Supply System will be operational again

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It appears that restoring the Melamchi to the Kathmandu Valley water supply system will take at least three months.

The Melamchi Drinking Water Project aims to bring water from the Melamchi River in Sindhupalchowk up to Sundarijal by mid-October. The Committee will carry out the tasks in collaboration with local governments and other relevant bodies.

The recent devastating flood from the river wreaked havoc on the project. The in mid-June damaged access roads to the project, a bridge, and some structures on the construction site, according to the Committee.

According to Rajendra Prasad Pant, information officer for the Committee, they set a target of restoring the water supply system if temporary access to the project could be by reopening the and erecting a Bailey bridge. However, the Committee is unsure whether the target can be met because the risk of future monsoon damage remains.

“If we can complete the headwork by mid-September, the mud and other depositions caused by the flood inside the tunnel will be removed over the next few months. If the flood causes havoc, it may take longer to restore the supply system,” he said.

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Sino Hydro, a Chinese construction company, has completed the project’s remaining works. Only the works on the headworks remain from the construction of structures such as the tunnel, headwork, and water treatment center.

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The project has divided the repair work into two categories: those that must be done immediately and those that must be done later. The immediate work includes the construction and repair of the approach road.

Panta, the project’s information officer, estimated that the repair work would cost Rs 1 billion. As he stated, works such as road and bridge construction, as well as clearing the road up to the headwork, should be completed as soon as possible in order to supply water from the Melamchi River in Sindhupalchok to Sundarijal in Kathmandu.

As the road and bridges need to be repaired, it is linked to three federal bodies: the Department of Roads, the Nepali Army, and the Melamchi Water Supply Project Board. The road leading to the project site should be made operational as soon as possible, with local support.

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For the time being, transportation would be provided by immediately constructing a Bailey bridge. For the long term, a concrete bridge would be built.

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Emma Hayes

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