India to release Rs 40 crore for river embankment, inundation

The Indian government has decided to release an additional Nepali Rs.700 million (over INR 40 crore) for the remaining embankment extension along Lalbakaiya, Bagmati and Kamala rivers.

IANS| Updated: Feb 15, 2015, 21:00 PM IST

Kathmandu: The Indian government has decided to release an additional Nepali Rs.700 million (over INR 40 crore) for the remaining embankment extension along Lalbakaiya, Bagmati and Kamala rivers.

Around 80 percent training and embankment works on these three rivers in southern Nepal has been already completed. These trans-boundary rivers pose threat during monsoon on both sides of the border.

During a five-day meet of the Nepal-India Joint Committee on Inundation and Flood Management here this past week, India agreed to release more amount to complete the remaining task of embankment extensions on the three rivers including for the river training -- often required to improve the navigability of a waterway.

The Indian side also approved 18 various new packages of technical works for these rivers.

The meet also included field inspections at these river sites.

India has already disbursed NRs 3,284.4 million for embankment construction and river training in these three rivers.

According to the Director General of Water Induced Disaster Prevention Ramanand Prasad Yadav, leading the Nepalese delegation, the meet also brought under convergence for training and taming more rivers that inundate both sides during rains.

With the latest approval of funds, Nepal will call tenders for these 18 new packages to complete the river training works.

On a request by the Nepali side during the third meet of the Nepal-India Joint Commission last July, the two sides had agreed to work for river training in Dodha, West Rapti, Mohana and Lakhandehi.

"In the first phase, technical works will begin from most destructive part of West Rapti," said Yadav.

The meet also decided to extend the embankment in Kamala river, touching the no-man's land on either side of the border so that Nepal would not witness further inundation on its side of the border during rains.

Similarly, for the first time, Indian side also agreed to work on river training works in Dodhara river in far west region.

"We have successfully narrowed down past pending issues and ventured into new ones. We have maintained a level up progress in Dodha, Mohana and Lakhendehi and hope next meeting at the Joint Secretary of Ministry of Irrigation level would make further progress," he said.

During the meeting, Nepali side also demanded the complete halt of Indian road construction along the Nepal-India border until both sides could find a solution of water drainage.

It also reiterated the request made during the 11th meeting of Nepal-India Border Management in Pokhara, Nepal's second largest city.

As an upper riparian, Nepal has certain issues to take up and as a lower riparian, India has to sort out them, said the Nepali official during the meeting.

The border structures parallel to Nepal-India border are not helpful in rainy season and Indian side should not stop the natural flow of water flow in Nepali rivers, Nepali officials told the Indian officials.

"To ensure no inundation, we demanded proper drainage of water flow all time and formation of a joint team to look into the matter to verify such blockade in Indian structures," another Nepali official said.

"But the Indian side rejected the offer and communicated that they will form a panel to look into the proper installation of drainage and will get back to the Nepali side."

Similarly, the Nepali side has also communicated to the Indian side that it will provide Comprehensive Strategy for Flood Management of 16 big Nepali rivers for joint work in future for flood management, taming and training the rivers and other technical works.