Swollen Koshi waters erode spurs in SaptariSpur number 9.79 at Banarjhula in Tilathi Koiladi has been seeing continuous erosion over the last few days.
Rising floodwaters in the Koshi river have started eroding the spurs, structures meant to protect riverbanks and main embankments by deflecting the currents away from riversides, on the western part of the Saptari district.
The increased flow of water in the rain-swollen river has added pressure on the spurs, according to technicians of the Koshi River Project.
The spur numbered 9.79 in Banarjhula, Ward 5 of Tilathi Koiladi Rural Municipality has been seeing continuous erosion over the last few days. “Since Thursday, efforts are being made to stop the erosion of the spur by constructing a temporary embankment using sand-filled sacks and bamboo trunks at Banarjhula. If the erosion does not stop, the western embankment will be at risk of being swept away,” said Satish Kumar Singh, chairman of Tilathi Koiladi Rural Municipality.
On Thursday evening, a team of officials including Singh and Chief District Officer Jaya Narayan Singh of Saptari had reached the Koshi river to take stock of the situation.
“The threat of the river breaching its western embankment and entering the settlements has increased,” said Singh. The Koshi Project should have done a better job protecting the embankments and spurs from erosion. The authorities concerned should have taken steps to ensure preparations were made for the monsoon season. Spurs and embankments are at risk of erosion due to shoddy construction.”
According to Singh, every year the authorities start embankment repair work only after the erosion starts.
Starting August 18, 2008, Koshi Project worked continuously for ten years until 2018 when the Koshi river damaged its eastern embankment in Sunsari district. Five years ago, a pilot channel was dug in the lower part of the Koshi barrage to direct the river current towards the middle section of the river.
“But for the last two years, the flow of the Koshi river has been directed towards the western part of Saptari,” Ashok Singh Thakur, engineer superintendent of Koshi Project told the Post. “That’s why the pressure of water flow in the western part has increased in the last two years.
According to the Koshi Project, they have started embankment repair work on the western part. “We have been making efforts to control erosion after spurs started to get damaged because of high water flow,” said Singh.