KATHMANDU: After several months of indecision and uncertainty, the government on Sunday signed an agreement with Chinese contractor Sinohydro Corporation Limited to complete the remaining construction work of the Melamchi Water Supply Project (MWSP).
Sinohydro, which is the fourth company selected for completing the remaining tunnel work of the project, has been given one year to complete the work. The contract amount is Rs 850.1 million.
The Melamchi Project and Sinohydro are set to sign another agreement soon for completing the headworks construction in 15 months. This means the project will take at least 15 months to complete.
MWSP chief Tiresh Prasad Khatri said the company has agreed to start construction work immediately after the Dashain festival [mid October]. “The contractor company has already observed the project sites and the road to bring construction materials. The construction work of the project will begin on October 13,” he said.
Khatri said they have made a provision of reward to the company if it completes the work before schedule and punishment if it misses the deadline.
The company will be rewarded at the rate of 0.15 percent of the contract amount (approximately Rs 1.27 million) per day for completing the work early and at the same rate for each day of the missed deadline.
MWSP chief Khatri said Sinohydro has already started hiring and deploying workers at the project site and transporting necessary equipment and construction materials.
“Since the contractor has already taken equipment and construction materials to the project site, the construction work will begin soon,” he further said.
With 97 percent work completed, the project remains in limbo after the last contractor Italian company Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti (CMC) abandoned the project on December 17, 2018.
Faced with acute shortage of water, people living in Kathmandu have been waiting for the project to complete since the past three decades.
According to MWSP officials, some 700 meters of the tunnel has yet to be plastered with cement. Similarly, other technical works such as headworks construction and installation of ventilator shafts remain to be done.
Sinohydro, which is already working on various other Nepali hydropower projects including the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project and 140 MW Tanahun Hydropower Project, has agreed to complete the Melamchi work in 30 percent less amount than the estimate.