February 22: The Melamchi Water Supply Project will start testing water in its 26.5 kilometer tunnel from today (February 22), according to the state-owned national news agency RSS.
The project officials informed that all technical and other necessary preparations have been completed for the tunnel test.
Spokesperson of Melamchi Drinking Water Development Committee Rajendra Panta said that tunnel test will be conducted in the presence of Minister for Drinking Water Mani Thapa, RSS further reported.
A project engineer and a driver had reportedly died due to a flood resulting from the breakage of the sluice gate (No 17) at Ambathan in Helambu while conducting a test run of water flow in the tunnel on July 14 last year.
After the incident, a team of experts conducted a re-examination of the construction works of tunnel, water source, sluice gate and others. According to media reports, four specialists arrived for inspection with the assistance of Asian Development Bank, which has bankrolled the project.
The new tests will be conducted by incorporating the suggestions given by the experts.
“Experts inspected the construction works. It is ready now for the re-test after incorporating their crucial feedback,” RSS quoted Executive Director of the Project Tiresh Khatri as saying.
According to RSS, Khatri shared that special attention has been given this time to avert the incident like that of the past. Rescue plan is setup and a helicopter is kept in ready position. Khatri added that it will take some 16 days to fill the water in the tunnel from Melamchi river to Sundarijal of Kathmandu.