March 17: The test operation of the main tunnel of Melamchi Water Supply Project was held on Monday (March 16). The test operation was carried out by flowing water from the source of Melamchi river into the tunnel.
During the test, the project officials released water up to one kilometer into the tunnel at the rate of 500 liters per second. The infrastructures of the much-awaited projects are being tested as the project is in the final phase of completion.
Tiresh Prasad Khatri, executive director of the Melamchi Water Supply Development Committee, said that there were no problems during the test operation.
“We will now test other tunnels,” said Khatri, adding, “So far, we have completed 95 percent of the works.”
The length of the pipeline from the project-site dam to Kathmandu is 26 kilometers.
The contractor company is yet to fix gates at four points in the pipeline and the ventilation works are pending.
After the successful test operation on Monday, Minister for Water and Irrigation Bina Magar claimed that the project will supply drinking water to Kathmandu within four months.
The project suffered a setback when the then Italian contractor – CMC di Ravenna – pulled out unilaterally citing its own financial problems in December 2018 when it was almost complete. The project was halted for some time and later the contract for completing the tunnel and head works were awarded to a Chinese company after which the project gained momentum again.