Water crisis worsens as KUKL remains dysfunctional: Officials

- Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Kathmandu

Apr 19, 2015-

Government officials have admitted that the worsening problem of drinking water in the Kathmandu valley has been aggravated by what they termed the ‘almost dysfunction condition’ of the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited’s (KUKL). 

The Urban Development Minister Narayan Khadka and Secretary Arjun Kumar Karki, among other high officials, made such comments at a programme organised to mark the KUKL Administrative Board’s 10th anniversary. 

“The Administrative Board relies on KUKL, but its structure is amazing. Although the administration creates policy, we have been facing a stark absence of a reliable policy for management of drinking water in Kathmandu,” Minister Khadka said.

Stating the possibility of bringing water from Melamchi by mid-April in 2016 has ended, Khadka stressed on the need for help from all the concerned bodies to make it possible by the month of August the same year as mentioned in an agreement. 

On the occasion, lawmaker Rajan KC said the shortage of drinking water can be reduced if abundant water going to waste in the Valley is utilised properly.

“The thirsty Kathmandu could be given some sort of relief if water from Matatirtha, Pharping, Raniban and Kodkukhola, which is going to waste, is managed,” KC said. “The KUKL employees did not support us when we proposed to channel the water going to waste at Sundarighat, although a proposal was made to provide them with allowance from lawmakers’ fund, the work has not been done,” he said. Secretary Karki also complained that he has not yet been able to consume the water distributed by KUKL even after 10 years.

“The KUKL employees are not accountable. Though the Board handed over the responsibility to manage drinking water in the Valley, its works have not been monitored. The KUKL is in a dysfunctional condition and the Board has failed to delegate its works while the Ministry has also fallen short to enliven the KUKL,” Karki said. “Even if water from Melamchi is brought, going by the current management of the KUKL, it will certainly create problems in distribution, and it will have to be thrown into the river,” he said.

KUKL General Manager Chandralal Nakarmi said they have initiated works at Sundarighat as part of an effort to manage the water going waste from the Valley’s water resources. 

Board Chairman and Joint Secretary at the Urban Development Ministry Ram Chandra Devkota admitted that problems owing to legal and procedural difficulties created hurdles in managing water supply system. “There are no representatives in the local bodies creating paucity of members on the board which has adversely affected its efficiency,” he said. 

The Board’s Executive Director Sanjib Bikram Rana said the Board is committed to enhancing KUKL’s capability.

Kathmandu Valley Development Authority Commissioner Yogeshwor Parajuli said the Board and the authority should coordinate to carry out development works in the Valley. 

Kathmandu Metropolis Executive Officer Purna Bhakta Tandukar and Deputy Director General of the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage Sunil Das, among others, were also present in the programme.

Published: 20-04-2015 09:10

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