Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi on Monday said the danger of flood in Kosi has “not been alarming” so far as water level in the river came down after Nepal decided against carrying out any blast to clear the blockage, which has resulted in formation a 10-metre high wall of water threatening to sweep down parts of Bihar.
The Birpur Barrage at Supaul in Bihar saw water discharge coming down by 25,000 cusecs from morning to evening. Sources in the state water resources department said Nepal was “not been willing to release water and wants to use water deposit for hydel projects”.
After conducting a review meeting with chief secretary, the CM said, “It (the situation) can worsen only if there is sudden discharge of water from Nepal. But obstruction in Kosi origin is one km long and it is not easy to be cleared.”
The crisis-like situation developed after a landslide in Nepal a few days ago over Bhote Kosi, a major tributary of the Kosi, blocked the main course of the river, forming a huge water body. The landslide spot is 265 km away from the Birpur Barrage. Vyasji, Bihar disaster management principal secretary, said water discharge from Birpur Barrage has come down since morning as Nepal did not conduct any blast at the blockage site.
An engineer at the Barrage said: “Water discharge at 8 am today was 1.5 lakh cusecs, but it came down to 1.2 lakh cusecs by 6 pm. Such discharge is below normal during rains. As of now, there is no reason for alarm.”
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NDRF teams, however, have been still busy evacuating people, especially those living in houses at Kosi embankment area in Supaul and Saharsa.
IAF, Army teams on standby
To counter any eventualities that may arise due to the rising water levels, Indian Air Force and Army teams have been kept ready at various locations in Bihar. While the Army has kept two columns on standby, the IAF has deployed its transport aircraft, C-17 Globemaster, with a medical team, besides four Mi-17 V5 choppers and two Chetak choppers. A team of experts from the Central Water Commission, Geological Survey and the National Disaster Response Force reached Kathmandu on Monday morning.