‘Melamchi tunnel breakthrough by November’

August 27, 2017

The Himalayan Times, 27 Aug 2017 

With only 1987.5 metres of the 27584.5-metre tunnel remaining to be excavated, Melamchi Water Supply Development Board has said it would complete tunnel excavation work by November.

According to the board, the contractor has assured MWSDB that tunnel excavation work would be completed by November.

Deputy Executive Director at MWSDB Ramakanta Duwadi said weak rock formation had delayed tunnel excavation. The board said of the remaining 1987.5 metres, approximately 1,000 metres at Gyalthum-Ambathan stretch and about 900 metres at Sindhu-Gyalthum has yet to be excavated. As the project missed the target of completing the tunnel excavation by July, it is almost certain to miss the deadline for supplying water to Kathmandu Valley by October.

Though MWSDB has not set any official deadline for supplying water, it may take another six months for the project to begin supplying water to Kathmandu Valley. The board said the contractor had said that it would take another three months to begin water supply after completion of tunnel excavation work.

The Melamchi project’s first deadline expired in 2007 and second deadline in 2016. On April 3 this year, the deadline was extended to October 2017.

The daily demand of water in Kathmandu Valley stands at 370,000,000 litres, while daily supply stands at 110,000,000 litres. Melamchi Water Supply Project is assisted by the Asian Development Bank and aims to reduce drinking water scarcity in the Valley.