India to release Rs 700m for embankment projectsIndia has agreed to release an additional Rs 700 million to complete the remaining work of embankment extension along Lalbakaiya, Bagmati and Kamala rivers.
During a meeting of the Nepal- India Joint Committee on Inundation and Flood Management that concluded here on Thursday, the Indian side agreed to release the amount while approving 18 new packages of technical work on these rivers.
The southern neighbour has already disbursed Rs 3.2 billion for embankment construction and river training. Around 80 percent training and embankment works in Lalbakaiya, Bagmati and Kamala rivers have been completed. With India pledging additional fund, the Nepali side will call tenders to complete the project.
The meeting decided to extend the embankment along the Kamala river on the either side of the border so that Nepal does not suffer further inundation in monsoon.
During the third meeting of the joint commission in July last year, the two sides had also agreed to manage the Dodha, West Rapti, Mohana and Lakhandehi rivers. To this end, Nepal has already sent detailed project reports (DPRs) to India. The Indian side has asked Nepal to send proposals for two other rivers.
“In the first phase, technical works will begin from the most destructive part of West Rapti,” said Ramanand Prasad Yadav, director general of the Water Induced Disaster Prevention.
For the first time, India has agreed to build embankment along the Dodha river in far-western Nepal. “We have successfully narrowed down the pending issues and ventured into new ones. We hope the next meeting at the joint secretary level of the irrigation ministries of the two countries will make further progress,” Yadav said.
Nepal is also preparing to submit to the Indian side a comprehensive strategy for joint work in flood management in 16 big rivers.
Meanwhile, Nepal has urged India to halt the road project along the Nepal-India border until both the sides come up with a solution to water drainage. The road being constructed parallel to the international border could obstruct the natural flow of rivers and cause flooding on the Nepali side. This concern was also communicated to the Indian side at the Nepal-India Joint Border Management Meeting that concluded in Pokhara a few days earlier.