Melamchi Water Supply Tunnel. Image: Bijay SubediMelamchi Water Supply Tunnel. Image: Bijay Subedi

Melamchi project to take 18 more months* to complete

Nepal’s national pride project – Melamchi Water Supply Project – whose construction work has remained in limbo after the government terminated the contract with its main builder – the Italy-based Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna (CMC) 4 months ago, is said to be take 18 months more to complete.

The Melamchi Water Supply Development Body has divided the remaining wok into two part – headworks and tunnel construction. The government, in a way, has announced fresh bids for completion of the incomplete work with two different deadlines for the two different packages.

According to Rajendra Prasad Panta, the spokesperson of the board, the new builder who is assigned for the headworks of the project will have 15 months of deadline while another builder for the tunnel construction project will have to complete the remaining work within 12 months.

The new idea of completing the project by hiring new local contractors after breaking the project into the two packages as a sign of the resumption of the stalled work, had already got a ‘go’ signal from the cabinet on May 20.

According to Panta, bidding for the remaining work of the project under the two packages has already been opened. Furthermore, the board has also retained the previous eight firms which are responsible for delivering supplies and designing structures like hydro mechanical gates.

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