Lawmaker calls for fulfilling locals' demands before diverting water from Melamchi

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Kathmandu - Sher Bahadur Tamang, lawmaker elected from Sindhupalchok constituency 2, has demanded that the water from the Melamchi river should be diverted to Kathmandu only after fulfilling the demands of the locals. The local people's representatives, the local levels and bodies concerned in the Melamchi Water Supply Project affected areas have expressed their displeasure saying the Melamchi Water Supply Development Board and the Ministry of Water Supply have unilaterally diverted the water from the local Melamchi stream without informing the people's representatives and local levels in Sindhupalchok district.

The Project and the Ministry on July 5 diverted water from the Melamchi stream to the project's tunnel on a trial run. The people's representatives and stakeholders as well as the citizens of this area have expressed their protest over the diversion of water without informing the stakeholders.

Locals are annoyed with the Ministry of Water Supply and the Melamchi Water Supply Project for going ahead unilaterally without addressing the locals' demands and carrying out environmental impact assessment. Lawmaker and former minister Sher Bahadur Tamang said it was regrettable that none of the people's representative from the project affected area, including himself, was informed about the diversion of water.

He demanded that the royalty on the use of water should be determined and it should be invested in local development projects. Lawmaker Tamang also called for supply of clean drinking water in the project affected areas. He has urged the Ministry of Water Supply and bodies concerned to take into consideration the local people's needs and demands. He said they will hold a meeting on July 10 of all sides from the project affected areas to discuss and decide on how to move ahead in the prevalent situation. Tamang said that first the royalty should be determined before diverting water from the local stream for the project.

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National News Agency, Nepal

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