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    42 out of 56 Koshi Barrage Sluices Opened

    GovernanceDisaster Management42 out of 56 Koshi Barrage Sluices Opened
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    42 out of 56 Koshi Barrage Sluices Opened

    The sluices were opened after the flow of water measured 243,180 cusecs per second and the surge in the water levels in the river panicked residents of Udaypur, Saptari, and Sunsari districts in Nepal.

    Incessant rains in the upper reaches of the Koshi river in Nepal has led to surging water levels and authorities at the Koshi river barrage in Nepal have opened 46 of the 56 sluices of the Saptakoshi barrage to avoid a disaster on their side.

    The sluices were opened after the flow of water measured 243,180 cusecs per second and the surge in the water levels in the river panicked residents of Udaypur, Saptari, and Sunsari districts in Nepal.

    The river has changed course to flow where it flowed almost 35 years ago. Homes of people settled in the municipal town of Belka in Udaypur have been swept away and over 20,000 people have been displaced.

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    This has led to an alert being sounded in Bihar. India’s Central Water Commission tweeted that the Koshi river “continues to flow in severe situation” in the districts of Birpur and Saupal in Bihar.

    Land erosion

    People in Nepal are angry. One resident of Belka-3 complained, “Even though Koshi has been eroding lands for a few days, the government did not take action.”

    Local people panicked as the river eroded land for two days. The mayor of Belka municipality, Ashok Karki, too said that no measures were effective to control the erosion. Flooding and erosion started around the rural areas of Dumribote and Sisaulighat after the flood of Koshi breached the embankment and entered settlement. “Sisaulighat became an island after Koshi broke the embankment and entered the settlements. I have come here by boat,” the mayor said, “Sisaulighat is at the highest risk. Here more than 150 households are at risk.”

    Stating that efforts are currently being made to prevent loss of property due to flooding and erosion, he said the rapid river currents have swept away the old embankment rebuilt by the Indian government only last year.

    Rescue and relief

    The Nepal Red Cross Society has been approached by the chief district officer of Udayapur for immediate relief, mainly shelter and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority is coordinating the rescue and relief operations.

    Saptari Superintendent of Police Abhinarayan Kafle said that although the Koshi River has moved towards the western settlement of Dumribote in Belaka Municipality of Udaypur, the flow of water from the barrage has not decreased yet.

    He said that more than 2,500 people were displaced in Udaypur, while community buildings and school buildings in Hanumannagar Kankalini Municipality-13, Saptari have been washed away due to incessant and rapid flow.

     

    Image: Wikimedia.

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