After new map, Nepal claims land in Bihar, stops India’s embankment work

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Days after Nepal approved new-map, which includes territories that India also claims, Kathmandu has stopped all repair work of river embankments in Bihar on the India-Nepal border.

Nepal has erected barriers and effectively put a stop to work done by India to prevent flooding of its low-lying areas, the Bihar government has alleged, reported a news agency, Asian News International (ANI).

Bihar, which shares over 700 kilometer-long international borders with Nepal, can be severely affected by floods due to Nepal’s action during the forthcoming rainy season as water from rivers coming from Nepal can overflow and wipe out entire villages.

Water Resources Minister in the Bihar government, Sanjay Kumar Jha on Monday told ANI that his government will approach the Ministry of External Affairs and apprise them of the threat posed by the situation.

Bihar had constructed the embankment over the river and had been carrying out fortification work every year ahead of the monsoon. According to the Minister they have never faced such objections from Nepal. And he added that it is for the first time that such behaviour is being observed from Nepal authorities.

“The Gandak barrage in Valmiki Nagar has 36 gates and 18 of those are on the Nepal side. They have installed barriers there, which has never happened before. Yesterday also over 1.5 lakh cusecs water was released from the barrage. If the flood-fighting materials and our officers cannot go there, then, in that case, there will be a grave danger,” Mr. Jha told ANI.

Similarly, Nepal has obstructed repair work on the embankment on Lalbakeya river, in east Champaran district in Bihar, where there is no man’s land and the dam is present for 20 years.

“This is the first time we are noticing this trend. The Bihar government is the one which does all the repair work on that side and it is the first time that we are facing difficulties in sending material and officers,” said Mr. Jha.

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