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Government indecisive on Melamchi water project

By Our Reporter
After terminating contract with the Italian contractor CMC, the developer of the tunnels and head works of the Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP), uncertainty has increased about the fate of the Melamchi Water Supply Project.
The government has not yet decided as to how it would complete the remaining works on the project.
Although the Finance Committee of the Parliament last week directed the government to complete the Melamchi Water Supply Project, the government has not yet made its plan public.
The much-talked-about Melamchi Project was expected to deliver 170 million litres of water per day to the Kathmandu Valley within this fiscal year without any cost overrun.
However, after the government scrapped the project contract with Italian firm, Co-operativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) di Ravenna, which had abandoned the project mid-way, speculations have been high whether the project would even complete.
The committee had also asked the government to immediately identify possible ways to complete the remaining work of the project without violating provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
The committee has also directed the government to find out why the Italian contractor abandoned the project and submit the study report to the committee within a month.
As there were rumours that the Italian Company fled after secretary Gajendra Thakur at the Ministry of Water Supply asked them Rs. 50 million.
Though majority of the construction work of the project has been completed, construction of head works and tunnel gate, and works such as fitting of sensor cameras and concrete lining along nearly 700 metres of the tunnel are yet to be completed.
The government, on the other hand, has still been undecided about resuming the stalled work. The government had earlier expressed intention to complete the project using Nepali contractors.

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