Melamchi’s drinking water supply will be cut off starting Friday

The Melamchi Drinking Water Development Committee has announced that starting from Friday, the main gate at the source of the Sundarijal will be closed due to the increasing flow of water in the Melamchi River, which could increase the risk of flooding. Due to active monsoon conditions in Bagmati Province, there is an increased risk of flooding in the Melamchi River, which could also cause the river to become turbulent, according to the committee situated in Ambathan, Sindhupalchok, near the Melamchi Drinking Water Project.

Additionally, residents downstream, from Friday (June 21) onwards, will no longer be able to use Melamchi water. Ratna Lamichhane, executive director of the Drinking Water Development Committee, mentioned that preparations have been made to start sending water to the valley only when the monsoon subsides. He also warned that once the monsoon danger has passed, only then can residents use Melamchi water again.

To mitigate potential damage from monsoon-related disasters, the committee is considering stopping the project temporarily until the rainy season starts and resuming it once the rains have subsided. According to the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, Nepal’s monsoon typically begins around June 13, this time lasting three days of intense rainfall. The monsoon typically ends around October 2.

Lamichhane also pointed out that due to increased water flow in the Melamchi River during the monsoon, there is a possibility of halting the project to prevent risks from floods. He noted, “This time, the monsoon has been particularly intense, with three days of heavy rainfall.” He also emphasized that the decision to stop the project was made due to the potential risks posed by floods from the increased rainfall.

Moreover, Lamichhane suggested reducing potential damage from future floods caused by the monsoon, as advised by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and consultants, and highlighted that halting the project could help mitigate damages. He also mentioned that if there is an absence of drinking water in the valley due to the monsoon, immediate suspension of operations was necessary.

As for the current situation, the committee has been distributing approximately 20 million liters of water daily to the valley, which was previously 17 million liters per day. The ongoing increase in population in the valley has exacerbated the scarcity of water from ground sources, ponds, and wells, due to the lack of Melamchi water.

In conclusion, the Melamchi Drinking Water Project has been providing water to residents via the Dhap Dam under the Bagmati Civilization Integrated Development Committee’s authority. However, spokesperson Prakash Kumar Rai highlighted that with the cessation of Melamchi water, the problem of water supply management would intensify, necessitating the transportation of daily four crore liters of water from various dry places.