December 9: Water supply from Melamchi river is to resume in the Kathmandu Valley from today (December 9). The water from the Melamchi river has been brought up to Sundarijal of Kathmandu and is being distributed in the federal capital from today, the state-owned national news agency RSS reported. The water was channelled via the tunnel aqueduct at Ambathan, the source of the Melamchi stream in Helambu Rural Municipality-1 in Sindhupalchok district, added RSS.
The water released into the tunnel reached the end point at Sundarijal, Gokarneshwar Municipality-1 on December 4.
"The tunnel was shut in June after a massive landslide that occurred in the Melamchi area damaged the tunnel at its source at Ambathan. The water that had been filled in the tunnel has been released into the Bagmati river to flush out the silt and debris in the tunnel," RSS quoted Ram Chandra Poudel, the engineer with the Melamchi Water Supply Project, as saying.
According to him, only a small amount of water was channelled into the tunnel conduit in the beginning on a trial basis since the tunnel was closed for a long time. This water took a week to reach Sundarijal.
Project spokesperson Rajendra Panta said that 175 million litres of water from the Melamchi river would be released into the tunnel daily from today.
The project had first started distributing the water in Kathmandu on March 28 last year. However, the supply was disrupted following major floods and landslides in Sindhupalchowk on June 15. The headworks of the project were completely damaged, as the floods and landslides deposited dozens of feet high pebbles, sand, and mud at the headworks.
RSS added that the water from Melamchi will be channelled into the tunnel and brought to Kathmandu only during winter because the reconstruction of the damaged headworks at Ambathan intake has not been completed yet.