Nepal, India discuss Koshi floods, Sunkoshi-Marin diversion project


Government officials from Nepal and India held a meeting to discuss the problems created by the Koshi River, and proposed Koshi High Dam and Sunkoshi-Marin Diversion Multipurpose Project. The 16th meeting of the Joint Team of Experts between government officials of both the countries was held in New Delhi on Thursday and Friday.

Prabin Aryal, joint secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, said the meeting held discussions on the different technical aspects to seek a long-term solution to the problems caused by the floods in the Koshi River.

The meeting also discussed on the proposed Koshi High Dam and Sunkoshi-Marin project.

As per Aryal, Madhu Prasad Bhetuwal, director general of the Department of Electricity Development led the Nepali delegation while the Indian team was led by a member of the Central Water Commission of India.

Aryal further said the meeting also reviewed the progress made in areas of environmental impact assessment studies, resettlement and rehabilitation plan, design flood studies, Glacier Lake Outburst Flood studies, power potential studies, power system and power evacuation studies and drilling activities at Koshi High Dam site.

“The meeting also discussed about the drilling works at the site of the Koshi High Dam that have been halted since long and will soon suggest a possible way out,” he informed.

Though Nepal has agreed to India’s proposal to construct the Koshi High Dam so as to control floods in Bihar, locals on the Nepali side have protested against the dam proposal stating that it would affect their settlements.

The ambitious multi-billion dollar project will provide irrigation, control floods and generate 3,000 megawatts of electricity.

Both Nepal and India have set up a joint office in Biratnagar to conduct further studies on the high dam. The feasibility study report of the dam has not been finalised yet.

At present, a joint technical team has been mobilised to conduct a feasibility study of the aforementioned work. “The meeting also focused on the disasters caused annually by the Koshi River across both sides of the border,” Aryal said, adding that the meeting only provided suggestions related to the technical aspects.

“If there is any possible policy level suggestion then the concerned authorities of both the countries will provide their recommendations to their respective governments.”

Meanwhile, the detailed project report of Sunkoshi- Marin diversion project is in the final stage. Though it has been reported that there has been some kind of agreement reached on the project during the meeting no information has been divulged by officials of both the countries.