Fear looms as sluice gate breaches

ITAHARI: SA sluice gate of the Koshi Barrage collapsed after the level of water increased in the Saptakoshi river in Sunsari district today.

Of 56 sluice gates in the barrage, the sluice gate no 12 collapsed due to rise in water level. Thirty gates were opened following the increase in the volume of water in the river.

Sunsari CDO Harikrishna Prasad Upadhyay, however, assured that there was no risk even after the collapse. Locals were panicky after they heard about the possible disaster.

Mohan Bhattarai, engineer at Biratnagar based Water Induced Disaster Control Office, said that the flow of water was measured 1,88,000 cusec per second at 12 noon today. The figure was 1, 68, 000 cusec per second when the the eastern embankment of the river had collapsed last year.

Technicians said that there would be risk if the flow of water crossed 2, 00,000 cusec per second.

Meanwhile, the river has started eroding spurs along the embankment. Water Induced Disaster Control Office informed that the repair of the spurs was going on rapidly.

The river had been eroding the spurs at Prakashpur also, Baburam Karki, a local said. Following the flood threat, the Indian government has deployed security guards round the clock in the barrage.The local administration said that Nepali security guards would also be deployed from today.

A team led by CDO Upadhyay had visited the site after there had been a rumour of the chance of the barrage collapsing itself.

Meanwhile, preventive measures have been adopted to divert the flow water in the sensitive spurs in Mahendranagar and Prakashpur. Rectangular pillars made of cement were placed in the prone areas to prevent the erosion of the spurs Er Bhattarai said.