Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) has expedited works to lay down water pipeline in the Kathmandu Valley, following breakthrough in tunnel digging to bring Melamchi water to Kathmandu.
The government is preparing to supply drinking water from Melamchi River in the Kathmandu Valley by the Dashain festival (mid-September). According to My Republica, Mahesh Bhattarai, general manager of KUKL, said “We will supply drinking water to people of Kathmandu once the Melamchi water arrives in Sundarijal via the 27.5-kilometer tunnel,”
According to Bhattarai, work of building reservoirs and laying down water pipeline is in the final phase. KUKL has already laid down 700 kilometers of pipeline in the valley. Six reservoirs have already been built while are under construction.
“Pipelines and reservoirs will be ready by the time Melamchi water reaches Sundarijal,” Bhattarai said. He also said that KUKL has successfully completed trial run of the newly-installed pipeline.
“Water distribution network of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur districts has already been readied, while distribution network in Lalitpur is currently under construction,” said Bhattarai.
KUKL, however, will not remove the old pipeline immediately. Currently, KUKL is distributing water through a 1,300-kilometer network connected to 45 small and big reservoirs.
Ram Chandra Devkota, executive director of Melamchi Water Supply Project, said that the tunnel will be ready within four months. “Melamchi River is likely to be connected with the water processing plant at Sundarijal by August-end,” Devkota said.
According to Devkota, 170 million liters of water will be supplied to the valley every day.
There are two water processing plants are Sundarijal. Construction of a plant having capacity of 85 million liters has already been completed. Similarly, another plant with the same capacity is in the final phase of construction.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have provided financial support to build the processing plants.
Melamchi is a two-decade dream of the Kathmandu denizens. Kathmandu Valley has around four million consumers.
According to Bhattarai, the valley consumes 400 million liters of water every day. But only around 150 million is distributed during monsoon. During dry months, supply falls to 100 to 110 million liters.
Once the Melamchi water reaches Kathmandu Valley, KUKL will be able to supply 320 million liters of water during monsoon and 270 million liters during dry months.
However, Melamchi water alone will not be able to solve drinking water woes of the Kathmandu Valley. “It will end scarcity to some extent, but not completely,” added Bhattarai.