‘Govt looking for new contractor to complete Melamchi project’

Melamchi Drinking Water Project

KATHMANDU, March 18: The government is preparing to appoint the new contractor to complete the stalled Melamchi Drinking Water Project, which was pushed to uncertainty after the Italian contractor Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna (CMC) abandoned the national pride project in December.

The government terminated the Melamchi contract of the Italian builder in January after it failed to resume works of the project. Since then the project has made zero progress with only five percent of the works left to be completed.

Even though the legitimacy of the CMC ended after the government scraped the contract, Minister for Water Supply Bina Magar has insisted in bringing back the CMC to complete the remaining works. But the officials of the ministry and Melamchi Water Supply Project are against Minister Magar’s will stating that legal grounds do not allow the CMC to resume the work.

But now, the government is looking to hire a new contractor to complete the remaining works through fresh bidding process, according to Rajendra Prasad Pant, the spokesperson for Melamchi Water Supply Project.

“A tender notice will be published within a few days,” he added.

Panta said that if the project is resumed and carried out effectively, the remaining works will be completed in three months. “The people of Kathmandu will get the Melamchi water by Dashin,” he added.

Minister Magar has reiterated that the project has been linked to the prestige of the ministry.

But there is no concrete basis to believe that the water from Melamchi will arrive in Kathmandu as claimed by Supply Project since the much-awaited project, which has been a long incomplete dream since 1990 and its deadline extended time and again, is stalled by the indecision of Ministry and Board.