Print Edition - 2014-12-23  |  Development

Groundwork

  • Laying the water main for the much-awaited project without causing a major distrubance to the Valley’s road network is a matter of striking a right balance
- SAMIK KHAREL
Groundwork

Dec 22, 2014-

The entire road network in Kathmandu Valley will have to be dug up to lay water pipelines for the much-awaited Melamchi Water Supply Project.

The first phase of digging trenches and installing water main has already begun in some parts of Kathmandu and Lalitpur. Besides laying new pipelines, the existing ones that have worn out over the years (some of the pipelines were laid 113 years ago) will also be replaced. This means further digging of roads which is bound to upset the city’s traffic as well as pedestrians’ movement.

Prabhat Jha, chief of the Kathmandu Valley Road Improvement Project,

said even the newly constructed roads will have to be dug up for the Melamchi project.   

“All the roads will undergo major and minor reconstruction works in the next two years,” he said.

Given the situation, it is important not to entirely immobilise the traffic. It is a matter of striking the right balance.

“We have tried our level best to minimise the damage by collaborating with other concerned authorities,” said Tej Raj Bhatta, director of Project Implementation Directorate (PID) at the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited.

According to Bhatta, a 77 km pipeline system will be built, of which works have been completed in about six kilometres. Pipes ranging from 500mm to 1400 mm will be installed for the Bulk Distribution System.

“Our aim is not to damage the road but to ensure that the Valley people get water via this project” said  Bhatta.

To ensure minimal damage to the existing roads, PID has decided, among others, to lay the pipelines before the construction of roads and digging up pavements for pipeline installation if possible.  The road authorities has given PID the permission to dig only those roads that had undergone construction and repair works at least two years ago.

Sanjay Raj Upadhyay, chief of Road Department at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, said that they are not in favour of digging up the roads that were constructed only recently.

“If we start digging up the roads to lay the pipelines within few months of construction, we are bound to come off as an irresponsible lot,” said Upadhyay. “The newly constructed roads will not be touched for another two years. The project will have to start on those routes that are under construction.”

Considering the water supply project, the road authority has started creating space for pipeline installation at places where road construction is in progress.

This includes Ring Road, where the pipelines will be laid on either side of the road.

For those roads wider than 7 metres, the pipelines will be laid on pavements while the smaller roads will have water main at the centre.

PID is also undertaking network improvement project along 622 km road inside the Valley. To that end, pipelines have already been laid in some parts of Koteshwor, New Baneshwor, Old Baneshwor, Charkhal and Lalitpur.

PID has assured to repair the roads that are damaged during pipeline installation. “We are ready to take the responsibility of blacktopping and gravelling the roads which have been recently constructed” said Bhatta. “Even other stakeholders have to be flexible with our plan, because this is a one time project set to solve the water problem in the Valley.”

PID plans to complete the project two months before the deadline of April 2016.

 

Published: 23-12-2014 09:26

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