Water from Melamchi being supplied in Kathmandu Valley from today

KATHMANDU: The water from the Melamchi river brought to Sundarijal of Kathmandu is being distributed in the federal capital from today. The water was channeled via the tunnel aqueduct at Ambathan, the source of the Melamchi stream at Helambu Rural Municipality-1 in Sindhupalchok district.

The water released into the conduit had reached the end point of the tunnel at Sundarijal, Gokarneshwar Municipality-1 on December 4. Initially this water was discharged into the Bagmati river for flushing the tunnel.

“The tunnel was shut in June year after a massive landslide occurred in the Melamchi area damaged the tunnel structure at its source at Ambathan. So, the water that had been filled in the tunnel has been released into the Bagmati river to flush out the silt and debris in the tunnel,” said Ram Chandra Poudel, the engineer with the Melamchi Water Supply Project.

According to him, the water was filled in the tunnel since December 5 and the water filled in the tunnel has been released to Mahankalchaur branch since Thursday. Only a small amount of water has been channeled into the tunnel conduit in the beginning on a trial basis since the tunnel was closed for a long time. This water took a week to reach Sundarijal.

Project spokesperson Rajendra Panta said that 175 million litres of water from the Melamchi river would be released into the tunnel daily from today.

The project had first started distributing the Melamchi water to Kathmandu on March 28 last year. However, the supply was disrupted following major floods and landslides in Sindhupalchowk on June 15. The headworks of the project were completely damaged, accumulating dozens of feet high of pebbles, sand, and mud at the headworks.

As the construction of the damaged headworks at Ambathan intake have not been completed yet, the water from Melamchi stream will be channeled into the tunnel and brought to Kathmandu only during winter.

Minister for Water Supply Umakanta Chaudhary is scheduled to inaugurate the distribution of the Melamchi water from Mahankalchaur water tank today. RSS

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