Koshi spurs likely to be repaired on time

ITAHARI: Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Minster for Water Resources, Bihar, Thursday said the construction of Koshi embankments would be completed on time. He said the repair work was being delayed due to rising political instability in Nepal.

Minister Yadav, who arrived here today to inspect coffer dams that were breached last night, said, "The reconstruction work was delayed as contractors, staffers and workers involved felt insecure due to political instability in Nepal. Continued bandhs and strikes are also responsible for the delay." He directed the contractor company to speed up the work.

Ajay Nayak, joint-secretary at the ministry of water resources, Bihar, said, "The breach of coffer dams has not affected the embankments under construction." Stating that the flow of water as witnessed in May this year was never seen in Koshi river in the previous years, he said, "The water flow was measured 95,00,900 cusec on the day when the coffer dams had ruptured."

The repair of eastern embankment and spurs is being undertaken rapidly after the breach of the coffer dams, Bashistha and Bashistha, the Indian Contractor Company said.

Meanwhile, a six-member high-level team of the Nepali government also inspected the construction sites today. The team comprising joint-secretary at the Ministry of Water Resources, Shital Babu Regmi, general manger of Irrigation Department Madhu Sudhan Poudel and general manager of the Department of Water Induced Disaster Control Hira Nanda Jha inspected Prakashpur, Rajabasghat, Paschimkusaha and Koshi Barrage areas.

Mohan Bhattarai, engineer at Biratnagar-based DWIDC said the high-level team after field inspection concluded that risk was mitigating as the level of water was receding.

The flow of water in the river was measured at 77,000 cusec at 10 am, while it was measured at 64,800 cusec at 1 pm today, he said.

The traffic movement along the East-West Highway that was disrupted also resumed today. "We will also install a Bailey bridge along the breached section of the highway. The installation work would be completed within three-weeks," Tulsi Sitaula, general manager of the Department of Roads said.