KATHMANDU, July 18: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barshaman Pun has directed the officials concerned to prepare for talks with India over the floods and inundation in Nepal’s Tarai region.
Minister Pun on Friday held a meeting with the high officials of the ministry and asked them to discuss with the Indian authorities the issue of inundation in the Nepali territories caused by the dams constructed by India along the Nepal-India border.
He directed the officials to call a meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Committee on Inundation and Flood Management (JCIFM) to solve the inundation problem in the border areas. Madhukar Prasad Rajbhandari, director general at the Department of Water Resources and Irrigation, will represent Nepal in the JCIFM meeting when such a meeting takes place.
Stating that flood and inundation caused by the Indian dams and embankments has been a major problem in the Tarai region, Minister Pun directed the high officials to contact the Indian side and call a JCIFM meeting immediately to solve the problems. He also stated that the risk of flood and landslides is very high during the monsoon and directed the stakeholders to remain on alert with the predictions and do the needful for risk reduction. “Work with the aim of not letting human and other casualties happen due to flood, landslide and inundation,” Minister Pun said, “If the unexpected events happen, make sure there will be no lack of human resources and other physical resources.”
Rabindranath Shrestha, secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation informed Republica that the meeting of JCIFM is held in November every year. “The meeting is supposed to take place in November,” he said, “But as per the minister’s direction, we will inform the Indian side.” He further informed Republica that informal talks to solve the prevalent problems are being carried out with the Indian side on a regular basis.