Amidst the border standoff and escalating tensions between India and China, Nepal has reportedly erected barriers which is creating a hindrance in carrying out flood prevention work ahead of monsoon. Bihar shares 700 km-long border with Nepal. The provocative move by the landlocked country has forced the repair work, undertaken by the Bihar government to prevent floods, to cease on the river embankments. As such, the state can be severely affected by floods during the monsoon season and lead to the destruction of entire villages.
State Water Resources Minister, Sanjay Kumar Jha, told news agency ANI on Monday that the Bihar government will take up the issue with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Jha informed that 18 out of 36 gates of the Gandak barrage in Valmiki Nagar are on the Nepalese side and the presence of barriers posed an impending threat to the State. He emphasised, “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”
Nepal obstructs repair work for the first time
Reportedly, repair work has also been obstructed on the embankment of the Lalbakeya river in the Champaran (east) district of Bihar. While flood prevention work is carried out every year, it is for the first time that Nepal sought to create hindrances. The Minister has been taken aback by the behaviour of the Nepal authorities is restricting the repair work done alongside the border. “This time they are not letting it happen. In Madhubani’s Jaynagar upstream on Kamala river too they are not letting us conduct repairs,” he highlighted.
Jha also informed that the engineers and the district magistrates are in talks with the Nepal administration to resolve the issue. He stressed on the difficulties faced by the State in sending materials and officers, even though the repair work on the Nepal’s side is also done by the India Government. Jha reiterated that he will write a letter to the MEA informing them about the issue and its immediate aftermath.
Nepal initiates radio warfare against India
Nepal has started radio warfare in bordering villages of Uttarakhand. The residents of these villages can catch Nepali Radio stations that are now playing anti-India songs from the last few months. These songs mainly state that areas like Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura in Uttarakhand are part of Nepal and India should return them. Nepal has recently included these areas in its new map. These songs are played several times between shows, including news bulletins. Along with anti-India sentiment, these songs also taunt Nepalese politicians for “not doing enough” to take control of the land that “belongs” to Nepal.