Kathmandu, Feb 20: India and Nepal have agreed to cooperate on flood management and flood control, particularly on rivers that originate in Nepal and reach the Ganga river basin and others.
The eighth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Committee on Inundation and Flood Management (JCIFM) was held in Kathmandu recently in which both sides agreed to expedite work related to flood control and inundation, according to a statement issued by the Indian embassy in Kathmandu.
Besides some field visits to the ongoing and proposed embankment and flood protection work along the Kamala, Bagmati and Lalbakeya rivers, the meeting also reviewed action taken on the decisions taken during the seventh meeting of the JCIFM held in Kathmandu last year.
The meeting reviewed ongoing work on the Kamala, Bagmati and Lalbakeya rivers and discussed flood inundation issues, flood forecasting issues and comprehensive joint strategy for flood management.
To control the menace of flood caused by rivers originating in Nepal, India has been providing assistance to Nepal for strengthening and extending embankments along Lalbakeya, Bagmati, Kamala and Khado rivers since 2008.
According to the available statistics, the total grant assistance already disbursed for embankment construction along these rivers stands at Indian Rs.1.86 billion or Nepali Rs.2,917.68 million (nearly $30 million), of which Nepali Rs.374.680 million was released in December 2013, Nepali Rs.256.947 million in January 2013, Nepali Rs.97.71 million in July 2012, Nepali Rs.345.73 million in October 2011, Nepali Rs.545.35 million in March 2011, Nepali Rs.599.78 million in 2010, Nepali Rs.53.5 million in 2009, and Nepali Rs.165.5 million in 2008.
India is also considering extending this assistance for construction of embankments on other rivers as well. A total of 167 km of embankments has been constructed along the rivers with a length of 40 km along the Bagmati, 61 km along the Lalbakeya and 66 km in along the Kamala from the assistance.
The Indian embassy statement said cooperation in water resources and river training comprise one of the most important areas of the bilateral relations and has immense potential.
“It is estimated that about 250 small and large rivers flow from Nepal to India and constitute an important part of the Ganga river basin. These rivers have the potential to become major source of irrigation and power for Nepal and India, but without planning, are a source of devastating floods in Nepal’s Terai region, and states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India,” the statement said.