Melamchi boondoggle

To cure Kathmandu Valley´s self-induced drought, planners have often looked to fresh-water sources beyond the Valley rim. A "pre-feasibiliry study" of out-of-Valley water projects was completed by Binnie and Partners, a British consultancy firm, in 1988. The study recommended the Melamchi Khola of Helambu, north-east of Kathmandu, as the best source from among 20 possible alternatives. In 1989, the recommended project options were ranked in terms of their environmental impact The Melamchi scheme was considered to have the least impact among the selected alternatives.

The proposal is to divert the flow of the Melamchi to the Valley through a 27 km long tunnel of 2.5 m diameter. Upon entering the Valley, Melamchi water would fall into a 5 mi Hi on cubic meter-capacity storage reservoir at Sundarijal. A later "Modified Melamchi" proposal would enlarge the reservoir at Sundarija] to store the Bagmati´s flow as well.

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