Headworks of the structure remains covered with debris following flashflood in August: Melamchi Water Supply Project
KATHMANDU, Sept 5: Water distribution from Melamchi River will be delayed by around one and a half months of the scheduled date as the headworks of the water supply tunnel is covered with sludge following a flashflood in Melamchi River in the first week of August.
Rajendra Prasad Panta, a senior divisional engineer of the Melamchi Water Supply Development Committee, told Republica that the distribution seems to be delayed as the headworks at the entrance gate of the tunnel is covered fully with the debris.
“Unless the debris is removed completely from the headworks, it will not be possible to resume water distribution from the project,” Panta said.
Due to the risk of floods in the rainy season, the Melamchi Water Supply Project closes its water supply system in mid-June every year. Panta said they planned to reopen the structure soon after the end of the ongoing monsoon. “We had planned to resume the distribution of water once the water level receded and clean water started to flow in the Melamchi River,” he said, adding that it is not likely to happen soon.
Panta said the flashflood even damaged the pathways that connect the headworks areas of Ambathan, where the current headworks is located. “We will start the construction of a connecting path to the headworks soon after the water level in Melamchi River recedes,” said Panta.
He added that they also need to recheck the tunnel up to 200 meters inside to ensure if there is any damage caused by the flood in the existing structure.
The floods and landslides in Melamchi in mid-June and mid-July 2021 caused great damage to the headworks areas of the project. Because of this, even now the water of Melamchi comes only for a few months during the winter season, while due to the risk of landslides and floods, the drinking water could not be provided regularly during the rainy season.
Two years have passed since the devastating floods in the Melamchi River, but the government has not yet been able to provide a permanent solution to the problems in the headworks area.