By Our Reporter
Water woes of the valley dwellers are almost sure to come to an end in the next ine months. With the making of a major breakthrough in the construction of the 27.5 km tunnel of the much-talked-about Melamchi Drinking Water Project (MDWP) last week, chance of running Melamchi water in the taps of the capital city by next Dashain has increased.
The engineers, technicians and other officials of the MDWP have been claiming since April last year that they would supply water of the Melamchi River to the valley by October 2017. And things are luckily moving towards this.
Engineers and technicians last week conducted the last blast to connect the 5.8 km tunnel under construction from Sundarijal side with the 3.2 km section being constructed from the Sindhupalchowk side. With this, now only 5.5 km tunnel is left to be drilled to complete the 27.5 km waterway. If all goes as expected, the remaining tunnel will be built in the next seven months.
After the completion of the MDWP the Kathmandu Valley will receive additional 170 million liters of water from the Melamchi River per day. Currently, only 160 million litres of water is supplied in the rainy season and 90 million litres in the dry season.
Water tanks have already been constructed at Aarubari, Mahakal Chaur, Khumaltar, Basbari, Balaju and Panipokhari to distribute water to the consumers. Of these, the tanks of Khumaltar and Bansbari have a capacity to hold 9.5 million litre (9,500 cubic meter) water each while the capacity of other tanks range from 7,000 to 8,500 cubic metres.
Altogether, there will be nine reservoirs to distribute the water in bulk in different places of the valley. Such reservoirs will also be built in Kirtipur of Kathmandu and Katunje of Bhaktapur while existing reservoirs of Anamanagar and Min Bhawan will also be used.
Indeed, the Melmachi project has been a dream for the valley dwellers as it has not been materialized even 25 years after the government started talking about it.
The idea of developing the Melamchi water was first floated in 1973 when a survey was carried out to find the long-term solution of water shortage in the Kathmandu valley.
The works on the project took pace only after 2008 and in these eight years, the project reached at the final stage of its completion.
Some people associated directly with the project give credit to former chief secretary Lila Mani Poudel for the progress made by the Melamchi water project.
Now the project is also planning to add additional 340 million litres from Yangri and Larke Rivers by 2021.