Plan to invite fresh bids for MelamchiTwo different contractors likely to be hired for headwork and tunnel works.
The government is preparing to invite a fresh bid to complete the remaining works of Melamchi Water Supply Project.
The Melamchi Water Supply Development Board will shortly announce the bid to resume the project works which have seen no progress since the contract with the Italian firm—Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna— was terminated in February.
The plan of announcing new bid for the much-talked about national pride project is first of any significant development for the project in the last few months. The project has already missed several deadlines of supplying drinking water to the Kathmandu Valley residents.
Rajendra Prasad Pant, the board spokesperson, told the Post that all paperworks for the bid announcement have been completed.
The board had prepared the bidding document as well as design and specifications of the remaining project works in March, a month after the contract with the Italian firm was terminated.
The possibility of hiring new builders for the project became possible after the Cabinet on May 20 gave a green signal to the board and the Ministry of Water Supply to complete the project.
The commitment expressed by the Asian Development Bank to complete the project, which witnessed major fiascos such as the main contractor abandoning the undertaking, also paved the way for the resumption of the project works.
The Manila-based multilateral lender in 2000 had decided to financially support the project which would supply 170 million litres of water to the Valley households daily.
The ADB representatives, during various discussions with the government officials, had communicated that they considered Melamchi an “emergency project” which required special treatment for its completion.
“Since a huge investment has been poured in the project, the donor agency is of the view that the project should be completed by making special arrangements,” Pant said. “To this end, it has agreed to relax its procurement guidelines. And it expects similar relaxation of procurement guidelines from the Nepal government.”
The board plans to resume the remaining works of the project by breaking them down into various small packages.
The project works will be divided into two major packages—the headwork and the tunnel. Earlier, concerned stakeholders had advised breaking down the project works into small parts and dividing works among different contractors in a bid to avoid future obstacles.
“The plan is to hire two main contractors for headwork and tunnel works. For other works, suppliers have been identified that means we do not have to look for new vendors again,” Pant said.
An estimated Rs2.5 billion will be required to complete the remaining works of Melamchi. The board now awaits the response of the ADB on the bidding document.
“Once the ADB has reviewed and approved the bidding document, we will immediately go ahead and invite the tender,” Pant said.