Melamchi Water Supply Project temporarily closed due to monsoon flooding

KATHAMANDU: The Melamchi Water Supply Development Committee has announced the closure of the main entrance of the Melamchi Water Supply Project tunnel at Ambathan starting today. This decision comes in response to increased water flow and flooding in the Melamchi River.

Ratna Lamichhane, the executive director of the committee, stated that the water in the Melamchi River has become cloudy due to flooding, necessitating the closure to protect the project’s infrastructure. “We kept the project running until the river was flooded to facilitate the supply of drinking water to the valley residents,” he explained.

The project was initially scheduled to shut down on May 31 last year, but heavy rains prevented the closure. The committee also prepared to close the project last Friday, but the water flow in the river did not increase as expected, allowing operations to continue temporarily.

Consultants and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have advised closing the project to mitigate the risks posed by the monsoon season. Despite multiple preparations to close Melamchi, the project remained open until today when the water quality began to deteriorate significantly. Lamichhane indicated that the project would resume only if the monsoon risk decreases substantially.

Residents of the valley will have to wait until the end of the monsoon season to receive Melamchi water again. The government is closing the project during the monsoon to minimize potential damage to the headworks and will reopen it once the rains subside. According to the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, the monsoon, which was expected to begin on June 13, arrived three days early this year and will last until October 2.

The proactive closure aims to ensure the long-term sustainability and safety of the Melamchi Water Supply Project, crucial for providing drinking water to the Kathmandu Valley.

Fiscal Nepal |
Monday June 24, 2024, 01:46:49 PM |

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