Bihar asks Nepal for security over Kosi repair

February 24th, 2009 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Feb 24 (IANS) Bihar’s Central Water Commission (CWC) authorities have asked Nepal’s government to provide security after protesters forced work on repairing the flood-damaged Kosi embankment to stop.
The CWC Monday sent a letter to the district authorities of Sunsari, the southern area along the India-Nepal border where floods created havoc last monsoon, asking for security after the people displaced by the Kosi river stepped up protests.

The flood victims have been on the warpath since five days, blocking the highway and asking the government to address their rehabilitation demands.

On Monday, they stopped the Indian company contracted to rebuild the damaged embankment from continuing with the repair.

The contractor has warned that if the obstruction continues, it would not be able to complete the repair in time, which could lead to more floods this monsoon.

Earlier this month, Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon had visited Nepal when he said the Kosi repair would be completed by April.

Last August, a rain-gorged Kosi created havoc in Sunsari in Nepal and Bihar in India, displacing thousands and destroying infrastructure worth millions of rupees.

While Nepal blames Bihar, which is mandated to maintain the Kosi embankment, the Indian state says its engineers were prevented last year from carrying out repair work that could have prevented the disaster.

Currently, Nepal is reeling under a near 18-hour daily power outage with the government unable to buy power from India and alleviate the crisis due to the destruction of transmission lines.

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