Inundation row: India for a pragmatic approach

Kathmandu, August 29:

India wants the inundation and flood problems in the Tarai to be sorted out together with Nepal in a pragmatic manner to ensure a “win-win” situation for both the countries.

Javed Asraf, Counsellor (Commercial) at the Indain Embassy, today said: “We (Nepal and India) need to look for ways to work together, not raise problems.” Asraf was talking to journalists about the problem of inundation faced by people of both the sides at an interaction at the Indian Embassy.

Whenever there are floods, the blame game starts, he said. “While people in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (UP) accuse Nepal, it is vice-versa here. India is blamed for floods in Nepal,” he said.

Referring to issues related to the Rasiawal Khurd Lautan dam and the Laxmanpur barrage, he said the issue of floods and inundation should “not be politicised.” He suggested that the Nepal government hold a “greater interaction” with the Bihar and UP governments to address the problem in an “integrated approach.”

As part of efforts to resolve the problem, Asraf said India is ready to invest some NRS 2 arab to built an embankment in the Kamala river. However, India is yet to get a nod from the Nepali side, he said.

Project in offing

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had in January asked India to build a “medium size” hydro project in the Rapti river to meet the demand for electricity in Nepal. An Indian team has already inspected the site and is now waiting for Nepal’s “field study parameter.”— HNS