|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
A. Melamchi Valley (Subproject 1)
A.1 Melamchi Water Supply Development Board (MWSDB) terminated the previous contract for the Melamchi tunnel on 25 September 2012 due to unsatisfactory performance of the contractor. As of the date of termination, physical progress (tunnel excavation) was 22% (6.3 km out of 27.5 km). Rebidding for the Melamchi tunnel contract started in November 2012. MWSDB issued the letter of acceptance to the winning bidder, Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti di Ravenna (CMC) on 21 June 2013, the contract was signed with CMC of Italy on 15 July 2013, and the letter to commence was issued on 1 October 2013. Advance payment was made to the contractor in October 2013. The government and ADB attach very high importance to Melamchi tunnel project, a national pride project, and the Government of Nepal reviews the progress of the project every month. The initial progress of CMC on the Melamchi tunnel was encouraging in terms of mobilization of key personnel, equipment, machinery, materials and start-up activities. CMC completed mobilization of key personnel, improvement of access roads and refurbishment of camp sites, and started tunnel excavation on 1 January 2014. CMC's mobilization of resources and excavation progress had improved, though not to the desired extent. The progress of tunnel as of 4 March 2016 was 14,355 of water diversion tunnel which is 42% of the total length of the tunnel excavation. The Melamchi tunnel contract is expected to be delayed. Implementation of tunnel contract has been adversely affected by April 2015 earthquake and followed by heavy rain during monsoon.
A Water Treatment Plant (WTP) to utilize water from Melamchi tunnel is being implemented with JICA funding. MWSDB and the contractor signed the WTP contract on 10 July 2013 and physical works are in progress.
Upgrading construction works in UAR 02 have been completed and the contracts are being processed for financial closure.
Construction of 18-km main access road was completed and opened up between Melamchi Pul Bazar and Timbu.
A.2. Resettlement Plans and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) were prepared and are under implementation for both Subproject 1 and 2 following the split into two distinct subprojects in 2009. The Social Uplift Program (SUP) undertaken in Subproject 1 (in Melamchi valley) include several activities for social and economic development of the areas in the Melamchi Valley such as (i) construction of health centers and provision of essential drugs; (ii) construction of school buildings and provision of educational kits to schools; and (iii) a forest nursery in Timbu. The SUP promotes widespread and meaningful participation of key stakeholders. Compliance with Resettlement Plan and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) is monitored by MWSDB with support from the design and supervision consultant (DSC). Further, services of a Safeguards and Social Development Support consultant (SSDS) have also been taken for monitoring at a second level. MWSDB has been specifically asked to ensure compliance with effluent discharge standards.
A.3 MWSDB is the main agency for project management of Melamchi Subproject 1 (Melamchi tunnel construction). MWSDB is supported by project management consultant (PMC) and design and supervision consultant (DSC). MWSDB has signed contract with new DSC in May 2015- the contract is funded by Government of Nepal. All the parties are coordinating to improve the pace, quality, safety, and safeguards compliance of the works. MWSDB, DSC and CMC agreed to develop good communication at all levels to (i) ensure implementation of the agreed action plans, (ii) decide expeditiously the contractual matters such as claims, variations, etc., (iii) ensure coordination with DSC, CMC, local residents, army and other relevant government authorities, and (iv) monitor processing payments to the contractor in a timely manner.
For Subproject 2, a Project Implementation Directorate (PID) has been established since 2009 which has been carrying out the activities of Subproject 2.
B. Kathmandu Valley Subproject (Subproject 2)
B.1. KUKL has recruited capacity building and public-private partnership (CBP) team in November 2010. The CBP team completed its work in June 2014. CBP team supported KUKL to achieving the targets of lease and license agreements. KUKL submitted to WSTFC a new proposal for increase in tariff, which was approved by WSTFC on 14 July 2013 with conditions to be fulfilled by KUKL for service improvement. This will help KUKL in improving its operations and service delivery to citizens. An action plan was agreed for KUKL's operational and financial improvement. This action plan, being implemented by KUKL, is expected to address much needed institutional reforms, capacity building and improvements on financial, human resources, and operations management.
B.2. Under Subproject 2, distribution network improvement works are expected to reduce water losses, improve service delivery by enhanced duration and higher pressure of water supply for consumers. PID for Subproject 2 has awarded 47 contracts out of which 40 contracts have been completed and 7 contracts are ongoing. Most of the contracts were completed in 2013 and the remaining contracts are expected to be completed by July 2016. Three works package for improvement of distribution network completed, however water supply services through new systems are yet to be provided.
B.3. Substantial improvement in water supply is expected after completion of the Melamchi tunnel by Mid 2017. Safeguards unit has been fully staffed with social development officer, environmental officer, and legal officer. This unit is supervising compliance with safeguards of ongoing physical works with support of supervision consultant. Resettlement Plan and Environment Management Plan (EMP) have been prepared and are being implemented. Semiannual safeguard monitoring reports are regularly being submitted and disclosed.