Me­lam­chi’s wa­ter: Wait­ing for Godot

People's Review - - NEWS - By Our Re­porter

Get­ting Me­lam­chi wa­ter has been a mere dream for the peo­ple of Kathmandu for the last two and a half decades. Still, they are not sure whether the dreams of drink­ing wa­ter of the Me­lam­chiRiver will be ful­filled as the works in its tun­nel and the pipe lay­ing works are mov­ing at snail's pace. The much-talked about project was to be com­pleted by April 2016, but it did not and the au­thor­i­ties had the earth­quake of April 2015 a good ex­cuse for their in­abil­ity to com­plete the project in time. The dead­line of com­plet­ing the project was post­poned for Oc­to­ber 2017, but still the project re­mains in­com­plete. Now the au­thor­i­ties have post­poned the dead­line to com­plete it for De­cem­ber this year. But go­ing by the pace of works both in dig­ging the tun­nel and lay­ing the pipes, the new dead­line may also not be met. Ac­cord­ing to the project au­thor­i­ties, 1.47 km of the tun­nel of the project is yet to be con­structed whereas they have still works to lay the 60 km pipe­lines to dis­trib­ute the wa­ter. In the whole month of Oc­to­ber only 199 me­tres tun­nel was built, which speaks of the fact about the slow pace of the work. Only 660 km of 730 km pipe­lines have been laid and it is un­likely that the works to lay 60 km pipes will be com­pleted in two months. The project au­thor­i­ties this time have blamed the old equip­ment for the de­lay in com­plet­ing the na­tional pride project be­ing de­vel­oped at the cost of US$ 355.4 mil­lion. And it may not won­der if the au­thor­i­ties fur­ther post­pone the dead­line from De­cem­ber. The Project Im­ple­men­ta­tion Di­rec­torate (PID) of the Kathmandu Val­ley Wa­ter Sup­ply Im­prove­ment Project said that about 10 per cent of the un­der­ground pipe lay­ing work still re­mained. Chief of the PID Tiresh Prasad Kha­tri said that the net­work of wa­ter pipe­lines would be com­pleted by the end of De­cem­ber this year. “We are slightly be­hind schedule. The mon­soon and fes­ti­vals dis­turbed the con­struc­tion works,” he said. Ac­cord­ing to him, only 4 km-long stretches – Pul­chowk to Jawalakhel, Mait­ighar to Bhadrakali and New Banesh­wor to Old Banesh­wor – re­main to be dug up. A few days back tun­nel dig­ging process was halted as con­trac­tor failed to pay equip­ment sup­pli­ers and lo­cal con­trac­tors.

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