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  Rain damages temporary bridges and track in Melamchi

With the onset of the rainy season, floods and landslides in the Melamchi River have damaged the road leading to the headworks of the Melamchi water supply project and three temporary bridges.

Since the end of last June, the project has stopped the water diversion work in the Melamchi tunnel to protect the structure and tunnel in the headworks area of ??the project. Despite this, the flood that came in the Melamchi river has again damaged the track leading to the Melamchi project and three temporary bridges.

Rajendra Prasad Pant, Senior Divisional Engineer of Melamchi Water Project, said that the flood in the river during the monsoon has damaged the temporary track leading to the headworks of Melamchi. Helambu Rural Municipality built the road that was damaged by the Melamchi flood last year, he said, but the current rains have destroyed it again and made it the same as before.

The floods and landslides that occurred on 15th June and 13th July 2021 caused great damage to the headworks along with the dam of the access road of Ambathan to the headworks of the Melamchi water supply project. The access road from Chanaute bridge to the headworks has been damaged. Last year, floods and landslides in Melamchi had damaged about eight kilometers of access road and six bridges.

The cofferdam, which was built to divert the water of the Melamchi River, was also buried by the Gegran that came with the flood. About 10 m area of the two km river section from the cofferdam at the headworks to the Ambathan portal was filled with stone gravel.

The Chairman of Helambu Rural Municipality, Nima Gyalzen Hyalmo, said that with the onset of the rainy season, floods and landslides in the Melamchi River damaged the track and other structures built around the Melamchi project.

"Last year, the Melamchi River landslide caused a lot of financial loss, but the federal government has not even done the job of dressing the wounds of the people affected by the flood," Hyalmo told Republica, "Because the federal government has not addressed the problems of the people affected by the Melamchi flood even in the policies and programs of the current fiscal year. We have prepared to stop the Melamchi project itself.”

Hyalmo claims that the Melamchi project will be blocked to take water to Melamchi again because the federal government has neglected the flood-affected Helambu residents. "If the federal government takes Melamchi river water to Kathmandu and distributes it to the people for free, we should not be given anything," he said, “If water is to be distributed by charging a fee to Kathmandu Valley residents, 25 percent of the fee should be provided to Helambu Rural Municipality.”

In the winter of last year, the government brought water from the Melamchi river to Kathmandu temporarily for a few months by spending about 360 million rupees. Melamchi water was distributed in the valley for some time from April 24.

Less than 35 days after Melamchi's water distribution, it was stopped again. Keeping in mind the possibility that Gegran accumulated in the Melamchi river watershed may damage the structure of the Melamchi project, the flow of water to the Melamchi tunnel has been stopped.

The Melamchi tunnel was saved from major damage because the project prevented water from entering the tunnel during the tunnel testing of the project before the Melamchi river was flooded.

Pant, senior divisional engineer of the project, said that after the end of the rainy season, the necessary preparations will be started to bring the water of the Melamchi River to the Valley. "Right now, it is not possible to go to the headworks area of the project," he said.

According to the project, Melamchi's water will be diverted to the tunnel only after the risk of flood subsides. On the one hand, because of the weak soil in Melamchi's watershed area, water has stopped in Melamchi's tunnel.

"We have closed it so that gegran with rainwater does not enter the tunnel," Pant said. We are hoping that this will stop river water and gregan from entering the tunnel. According to the project, gate number one is now a temporary gate that will allow water to enter Melamchi through alternative means. Gate number 38 of Melamchi is the main gate to enter the tunnel.

[22 August, 2022 / nagariknetwork.com ]   
 
 
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