India in touch with Nepal over water-related issues
New Delhi: India on Wednesday indicated that
political instability in Nepal in the past few years has been
an impediment in formulating agreements on several water-
related issues, including reconstruction of breached Kosi
However, Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid
expressed hope that they could discuss the issues with
Nepalese authorities soon.
"Clearly much of the concern in Bihar and Uttar
Pradesh was related to what is possible with Nepal. We are
treating this as a high priority issue. We are in touch with
Nepal. Even for the Kosi issue, we are trying to meet Nepal
counterparts in the next few days.
"We all know the difficulties that the Nepalese
government has over the last few years. Their internal
preoccupations and their own adjustments and the concerns they
have to live upto," he said addressing 15th meeting of the
Ganga Flood Control Board (GFCB).
He said India was not putting too much pressure on
Nepal for early resolution but continuing with steady
reminders and the External Affairs Ministry has been helping
his Ministry in this.
"As soon as we see any forward movement, we will
ensure that Water Resources Secretary will travel to Nepal and
we will try to move forward. We are doing it in a futuristic
manner," he said.
Emphasising the need for `flood plain zoning`, the
Minister said it has to be given the highest priority. "We may
not be able to reverse the encroachment of flood plains. We
cannot obviously vacate the flood plains encroached already.
But at least we can stop the process of encroachment."
Khurshid said there was a need for fine-tuning of the
plans for the 23 river basins of River Ganga.
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