Melamchi’s Increased Water Pressure Ripping Old Pipes

The crossroads at Saugal, Lalitpur has not been dry since Sunday. Water has been continuously seeping from the ground and collecting at a corner, making a puddle. According to the locals, when the Melamchi water was sent through, the underground water supply pipes burst.
“The government had said that the Melamchi Project would provide enough water to even wash the roads,” a local told The Rising Nepal. “Turns out, they were right,” he chuckled.
It was also a similar story near Indra Chowk, Kathmandu on Monday. “The old pipes could not contain Melamchi’s water and they started leaking. Perhaps the pressure was too much to bear,” local storeowner Himanshu Majakoti said. “But officials from the Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) came as soon as we called them and fixed it.”
Similar leakages have been reported at Gwarko, Bir Hospital, Baneshwor and Pani Pokhari, among other places. KUKL does not have information on exactly where the leakages are happening but stated that it took prompt action every time it was notified.
“We are currently supplying Melamchi’s water through the old pipeline network. These pipes have been unable to bear the increased water pressure in some places and have burst. Weak joints are also to blame,” said Prakash Kumar Rai, spokesperson for KUKL.
Rai informed that the Khanepani Limited had formed rapid response teams and deployed them whenever it encountered problems from the concerned distribution centres.
Presently, KUKL supplies 85 million litres of Melamchi’s water to Kathmandu Valley every day. Almost all of this water is distributed through the old network. “When we didn’t have water, we didn’t have leakages. Now we have water so we have leakages. We are always working to repair them as fast as we can,” Rai said.
Meanwhile, KUKL plans to gradually begin testing distribution through the newly laid pipelines soon.