Nepal completes excavation of its longest tunnel

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Kathmandu, April 12 (IANS) The excavation of the 26-km tunnel in Nepal that will lead to improved water services for residents of Kathmandu was completed on Thursday.

The tunnel will be fully operational in a few months and carry water from the Melamchi river to the Kathmandu Valley for supply by the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Ltd (KUKL), reported.

The breakthrough ceremony was held in Melamchin area amid the presence of Nepali Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Minister for Drinking Water Bina Magar and Asian Development Bank (ADB) Director General for South Asia Hun Kim.

According to a statement issued by ADB, which is a part of a project, the Melamchi Water Supply Project will benefit an estimated 1.3 million urban inhabitants with more reliable water supply and higher quality water.

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“The completion of the excavation marks a very important milestone in the project’s history and is indeed a giant leap forward for the project, one that will soon help alleviate the water stress experienced by the inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley,” Hun Kim said.

As per ADB, the current water supplied by KUKL was about 100 million liters per day (mld) on average, with about 40 per cent of this estimated to be lost due to leakages. An additional 170 mld of water will be available by the end of 2018 for distribution to KUKL customers.

The Nepali government is planning to complete all finishing works and testing of the tunnel by early July, with testing of the new transmission and distribution system in the Kathmandu Valley to start from August.

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