September 21: Reconstruction of the Melamchi Water Supply Project, a national pride project, which was damaged by the catastrophic flood and landslides on June 15, has been started after the government released Rs 1 billion for the reconstruction in the first phase.
Spokesperson of the Melamchi Water Supply Development Board Rajendra Prasad Panta said that the reconstruction works of the project has been started after discussions with the concerned agencies. The government has expressed commitment to provide the required amount for the reconstruction.
The government has already provided Rs 1 billion to the committee with instructions to move ahead with the reconstruction in order to resume water supply to the Kathmandu Valley as soon as possible.
The board has demanded Rs 2 billion to rebuild the project and resume water supply. Panta informed that preparations are underway to distribute water of Melamchi river in Kathmandu Valley again by mid-April next year.
The government is preparing to hand over the responsibility of the project's headworks to the Nepalese Army. Project Chief Basudev Poudel said that discussions are underway to hand over the responsibility of opening 8 out of 22 km of road track from Melamchi Bazar to the headworks area to the Nepalese Army. “If it is given to a construction company, it will not be possible to open the track even in a year,” he said, “We will immediately inform the government and take a decision.”
The construction entrepreneurs who have been constructing the headworks say that they are ready to supply construction materials and large machinery to Ambathan as soon as the water level of Melamchi river recedes. “The project has not been severely damaged,” said Poudel, adding, “We will immediately start the road construction work in coordination with various agencies.”
According to project chief Poudel, the latest flood washed away a section of 8-km road being constructed in Kieul area of Helambu, casting doubt on timely completion of the reconstruction works.
An engineering camp and security post near the source of the river were inundated by the recent floods which also killed a Chinese and two Indians of the contractor company involved in the construction of the project.