Five injured as protesters clash with security personnel at Melamchi Water Supply ProjectThe protesters were staging demonstrations demanding payment for their work when the clash occurred.
At least five persons were injured when unpaid local sub-contractors, vendors and workers of the much-awaited Melamchi Water Supply Project clashed with police at Ambathan, Sindhupalchok, on Thursday.
The protesters were staging demonstrations demanding payment for their work when the clash occurred. Around 350 protesters took out a rally from Melamchi Bazaar to Ambathan, the reservoir site, to exert pressure on the concerned authorities to address their demand.
Maniram Lamichhane, an inspector at the Area Police Office in Helambu, said the security personnel used force after the mob started pelting stones at the police. Police fired warning shots and lobbed some teargas canisters to disperse the protesters.
According to Lamichhane, three security personnel and two protesters sustained injuries in the clash. The injured are receiving treatment at Melamchi Hospital.
The local sub-contractors, vendors and workers have been protesting for the past few days claiming that Cooperativa Muratorie Cementisti di Ravenna (CMC), the Italian contractor of the project, has not provided them with a salary.
Six months after terminating the contract with the Italian contractor, the government selected Sinohydro Corporation Ltd of China to complete the remaining work of the project. The national pride project, which will supply 170millon litres of water to Kathmandu Valley from Melamchi River daily, has been in limbo since last December.
The agitating workers said the CMC had to pay around Rs 1.68 billion amount as salary and provident fund to the employees. The sub-contractors also claimed that they have yet to receive Rs 165 million from the Italian contractor.
“We have submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister, Ministry of Water Supply, Melamchi Drinking Water Project and the local unit to address our demands. The government should investigate the issue,” said contractor Buddhi Krishna Lamichhane.
Though the government plans to expedite the project by hiring a new builder, the agitating sub-contractors, vendors and workers, who had earlier worked with the CMC, has threatened to block the project work unless their dues are paid.