Nepal's clear sky signals relief

Nepal's clear sky signals relief

People affected by the Kosi threat heaved a sigh of relief when it stopped raining in the river’s catchment area in Nepal on Monday, but Bihar Water Resources Minister Vijay Choudhary cautioned, “We are still not out of the woods.”

Nepal decided on Monday that it won’t blast the debris around the lake created by a landslide in Sindhupalchok district, some 100 km north of Kathmandu. 

The lake on the river Sunkosi, a tributary of the Kosi, was created on Saturday and since then more than 25 lakh cusecs of water is said to have been accumulated there. The lake is spread over 1 km and is 50-metre deep.

The Nepal Army in the last two days carried out minor blasts to clear the debris in phases so that water was released into Kosi in small amounts. More than 70,000 people have been evacuated from the low-lying areas of nine districts in Bihar, through which Kosi passes. 

The relief and rescue operation was carried out here after Nepal issued an alert that following accumulation of water in its territory, it would release it into Kosi which may eventually flood Bihar areas.

Monday, however, brought some good news as it stopped raining in Nepal as well as Bihar districts along Indo-Nepal border. 

“We have been informed that no blast will take place in Nepal today (Monday). As such, not much water will come down gushing to Bihar,” said State Disaster Management Department Principal Secretary Vyasji on Monday. Besides, after the rain stopped, water has reportedly started receding from the lake.

“We have been informed that water level was receding by 3 inches every hour,” said a senior official of the Water Resources Department. But he hastened to add that since Bihar cannot directly talk to Nepal, they have urged the Central government to take up the issue with Nepal for releasing water in a phased manner “or else the spectre of flood threat will continue to loom large.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jiten Ram Manjhi, who carried out an aerial survey of the Birpur barrage site at Supaul, took stock of the situation and the possible threat perception on Monday. 

He was informed about the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Army team, along with doctors, stationed at Purnia to meet any eventuality. 

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