June 21: Water supply from Melamchi to Kathmandu will be delayed due to the damage made by the recent flood. On July 20, the Melamchi Water Supply Project had halted water supply to Kathmandu for two months to inspect and test the tunnel.
However, the damage caused by the flood of last Tuesday is likely to further delay the water supply to the valley.
The flood had caused extensive damage at Ambathan, the main dam site of the Sindhupalchok-based project. The Melamchi Water Supply Board had earlier issued a notice that Melamchi water would not be distributed in Kathmandu till mid-August for tunnel testing and inspection. It has been decided that there will be no water for a few more months after the project site was damaged due to floods and landslides in Melamchi with the onset of the monsoon.
Spokesperson of the board Rajendra Prasad Pant said that it is not possible to supply the water on the scheduled date due to the post-flood situation. He said that water can be supplied after a few months of the scheduled time with the help of the Department of Roads, the Nepal Army, and local stakeholders.
"The amount of time it takes to repair the damaged infrastructures like roads, camps, bridges at the project site will determine the amount of water supply," Pant said.
He informed that the affected areas could not be reached due to the rising water level of the river. Project officials are preparing to visit the project site on Monday. "Efforts have been made to repair the flood-damaged road from Melamchi Bazaar. We have not been able to reach there," Pant said.
He said that the details could not be obtained. The access road from Melamchi Bazaar to the project site is 21 kilometers away.
About half of the road needs to be repaired. With construction materials as well as equipment and camps flooded, it is unlikely that water will be distributed in the valley on time.
The board has collaborated with various agencies to start the road maintenance work from Melamchi Bazaar.