Kathmandu, Nepal — Excavation of the longest tunnel in Nepal was completed on 12 April. When fully operational, the 26-kilometer (km) tunnel will carry water from the Melamchi River to alleviate water stress experienced by inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. ADB has worked with the Government of Nepal since 2000 to build the tunnel and 29 km of access roads, providing $145 million in loans for the $355.4 million project.
About 40% of the 100 million liters of water supplied daily on average to the valley is lost due to leakages. Due to the project, an additional 170 million liters per day will be available by the end of 2018 for distribution to customers of the water utility, Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited. Water will be supplied daily for at least 2-4 hours once the new system is in place.
“Nepal can now tell the outside world, ‘Nepal can do it!’ I think with this kind of spirit, we can overcome any challenges.”
“I think it is a historic day,” said ADB Director General for South Asia Hun Kim, at a breakthrough ceremony on 12 April marking the completion of the tunnel excavation. “Nepal can now tell the outside world, ‘Nepal can do it!’ I think with this kind of spirit, we can overcome any challenges.”
“Today is important because this is the proof that we can work together, and we can deliver. ADB will continue to work with the government until the day when the people in Kathmandu Valley get water 24/7.”
Vice President of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun and Minister for Drinking Water Bina Magar, also attended the ceremony. The government plans to complete finishing works and testing of the tunnel by early July.