Water Supply Minister Mani Chandra Thapa has said that Melamchi water will reach the Kathmandu Valley for drinking within three months.
"The tunnel will be full in 16 days. Water will come regularly after testing is successful," Minister Thapa told journalists after starting testing of the 26.5-kilometer tunnel of Melamchi Water Supply Project on Monday.
Minister Thapa started testing of the tunnel on Monday in presence of Youth and Sport Minister Dawa Tamang and Minister of State for Urban Development Ramvir Manandhar. He added that the people will get to drink water from Melamchi within three months.
A project engineer and a driver had died due to a flood resulting from the breakage of the sluice gate (No. 17) at Ambathan in Helambu while testing water flow in the tunnel on July 14 last year.
After the incident, a team of experts conducted its reexamination of the construction works of tunnel, water source, sluice gate and others. Special attention has been paid to avert the incident like that in the past.
"There have been improvements in the previous mistakes in gate security. The concrete is stronger. The gate earlier used to open toward outside. It will now open toward inside," Project engineer Shekhar Khanal, who was injured in the flood last July, told Setopati
Khanal added that the water will be left in the tunnel for 10 days after it gets filled in 16 days at the rate of 260 liters per second. "It will take some time to flush that water out. The testing works will finish in around 55 days."