Nepal not doing enough on Kosi embankment issue: Bihar CM
Patna/Birpur: Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
on Friday asked the Centre to take up with Nepal the issue of
protecting and strengthening of Kosi embankment to prevent
floods in Bihar, adding that the Himalayan nation is not doing
enough on that front.
"The Centre should immediately take up with Nepal the
issue of strengthening and protecting the embankment in the
wake of forceful stoppage of work in Nepal and digging of
a pilot channel to re-establish the central flow of the river
to avoid undue pressure on both the western and the eastern
embankments," Kumar told reporters in Patna on his arrival
from Birpur in Supaul district.
If the digging of the channel did not resume, he would
meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs
Minister S M Krishna and urge them to take up with Nepal
measures to strengthen the embankment on the Kosi river to
prevent floods in Bihar, he said.
Kumar was talking to reporters on his arrival from
Birpur where he reviewed at a high level meeting the progress
of the ongoing strengthening work.
"This year too, Nepal has simply not done enough to
strengthen embankment of the Kosi river on the western side
(in Nepal)," he said.
The annual floods caused by the Kosi river has caused
huge erosion of land on the Indian side, particularly in
Bihar, Kumar said.
"It is high time that India, Nepal and Bihar governments
work together to strengthen Kosi river embankment to prevent
floods in Bihar," he said, adding that time was running out.
Stressing the need for desiltation, gate management
and construction of a barrage on Kosi river, Kumar said that
he had already apprised Union Water Resources Minister Salman
Khurshid of the need to dig a pilot channel on the eastern
side of the river to contain floods during the rains.
Kumar reviewed the ongoing strengthening work on the 20
km length of the eastern embankment on the Indian side which
has come under pressure because of the shifting of the river
towards the east down the barrage.
The Water Resource Department was trying to explore the
alternative methods of protecting the embankment following
the stoppage of work including the digging of a pilot channel
to re-establish the central flow of the river to avoid undue
pressure on both the western and the eastern embankments, he
In the event of the pilot channel not being allowed,
efforts would be made to maintain the central flow of the
river by skillfully operating the gates of the Kosi barrage,
State Water Resource minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said.
Earlier, Kumar inaugurated a two-storeyed school
building-cum-rain shelter constructed by the Indian Express
Group at the expense of Rs 87 lakh at Lagma under Sonebersa
block in Saharsa district.
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