As soon water from Melamchi river diverted to the tunnel of Melamchi Water Supply, Melamchi Water Supply Development Board has issued a public notice urging the residence of Sindhupalchowk and the Kathmandu Valley living in the banks of the river to take precautionary measures.
On Sunday morning (July 6), the Water of the Melamchi River was diverted to the recently completed tunnel on testing and commissioning purposes. The project has created a temporary diversion at the river to divert the water into the tunnel while the headworks is under construction.
About 260 liters water per second is being supplied to the tunnel, and it would take about 20 days to fill it up. Project Chief Tiresh Prasad Khatri said that the water would be held in the tunnel for 10 days to see if there were any leakage and the water would be sent out, which would take another 20 days.
“In total, it will take about two months to completely test the tunnel since we have to carry out the repair works after emptying the tunnel,” he said.
The Kathmandu Valley will regularly receive the water from the Melamchi River after two months via the temporary head work. The deadline to complete the construction of permanent head work is set for mid-January 2021, but the MWSP is hopeful to complete it before that.
According to the board, water levels in Bagmati will likely to increase following the arrival of water. If things go normally, the Kathmandu Valley will regularly receive the water from the Melamchi River by September. The deadline to complete the construction of permanent head work is set for mid-January 2021, but the MWSP is hopeful to complete it before that.
Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation Bina Magar said that with the testing of the tunnel the project has entered a new phase. “The project is almost complete, and we have started diversion work. The water from the Melamchi River will soon be distributed to the households in the valley,” she said.
“The testing and commissioning of the project will take two months to complete. During this period, we have to carry out the repair works if there is any leakage or technical problem,” said Khatri.
"As announced by the government through its policies and program to start the testing and commissioning from July, we are able to do so."
“It was a great day for all of us to see a diversion of water to tunnel. I would like to thank all the persons involved in the project and involved in the testing and commissioning work,” said secretary Madhav Belbase.
As the testing and commission began, the construction of headworks is in full swing as it has witnessed over 75 percent progress now. The construction of the headworks had begun after the Italian contractor fled the country leaving the project incomplete.
Of the structures of headworks, construction of cofferdam, DI pipeline and six hydro-mechanical gates have been completed while the erection of hoists and control panels and construction of stilling basin and intake are underway, said the project.
Led by The Asian Development Bank, Nepal Government, several other bilateral and multilateral agencies including JICA provide funds to construct this multibillion-dollar project.