KATHMANDU, Nov 20: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed commitment to select a new contractor for Melamchi Drinking Water Project (MDWP) within March 2013.
The multilateral donor expressed its commitment after the project became uncertain following termination of tunneling contract with China Railway 15 Bureau Group about two months ago.
"The meeting between government and ADB officials held on Tuesday to review progress of ADB-funded projects was focused on implementation of the mega drinking water project,” a high level government official told Republica. “ADB officials have assured us that tender process will be completed by March next year.”
The official said ADB officials have assured them that the multilateral donor would expedite works so that the bidding process could be completed within the stipulated time.
According to state-run news agency Rastriya Samarchar Samiti (RSS), Melamchi Water Supply Development Board (MWSDB) -- the implementing agency of the project -- has already finalized the bidding document for construction of the tunnel and is preparing to invite international bidding for the same within this week.
Ghanshyam Bhattarai, executive director of MDWP, said they would invite global bids for the project by this Friday.
The Chinese contractor had abruptly left the project after digging 6.5 km tunnel.
“The project works will be resumed from the point where the Chinese contractor had left. All other issues relating to the resumption of works would be finalized after holding discussions with designated consultants," the news agency quoted Bhattarai as saying.
The project, which targets to supply daily 170 million liters of water to the capital, is expected to cost more than US$ 464 million.
Juan Miranda, director general of the South Asian Department of the ADB, in a recent press conference in the capital has expressed commitment to continue support for the much delayed project until its completion.