Former PM Khanal urges prompt completion of Melamchi Water Supply Project

Kathmandu, Dec 27 . Nepal Communist Party (NCP) senior leader and former Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal has called on all sides concerned to pay attention so that the construction of the Melamchi Water Supply Project, the national pride project, is completed on time.

Speaking in the meeting of the Development and Technology Committee under the House of Representatives, the lower house of the federal parliament, today, he urged the government to be serious as to why the Italian company, CMC, an international contractor undertaking the Melamchi Water Supply Project had to abort its works.

He said it was regrettable that the project contractor was aborting work towards the conclusion of the project which has been possible through four decades long efforts, adding that this situation has compelled the Kathmandu denizens to doubt they would ever be able to drink water supplied through the Melamchi project.

Lawmakers Bahadur Singh Lama and Rajendra Lingden said the Project has accomplished only 93 per cent works in 29 years and wondered how long it will take to complete the remaining works of the project.

Lawmakers Prabhu Saha and Top Bahadur Rayamajhi drew the serious attention of the government towards the confusion regarding the remaining works of the project after the Italian company stopped work. They suggested that water supply and sewerage construction should be well-coordinated.

Likewise, lawmakers Ram Bahadur Bista and Ganesh Pahadi wondered why the international contractor company aborted works on the Melamchi project, urging the government to complete the project on time. They stressed on forming a monitoring and coordination body for this purpose.

Rajendra Rai and Lilanath Shrestha sought an explanation from the government as to for what reason the Italian construction company unilaterally aborted works on the Project.
Durga Poudel and Tek Bahadur Basnet called the attention of the government towards the problem of dust pollution in Kathmandu Valley as the roads dug for laying the pipeline for the supply of water from the Project have not been covered and pitched yet.

The government had signed an agreement with a Chinese construction company, CRCCC, ten years back for constructing the project. The Chinese company walked away from the agreement four years later and the government entered into a contract with the CMC one year after for the construction of the Melamchi Water Supply Project.

In the meeting, Minister for Water Supply Bina Magar shared that 93 per cent work of the project has been completed. She said that the CMC, which had unilaterally walked away from the agreement on December 17, has again on December 21 sent a letter to the Ministry requesting to reconsider its decision.

The Water Supply Minister also stated that so far a total Rs 26.35 billion has been spent on the project.RSS