KATHMANDU, July 25: Amid complaints that disputed causeways and embankments constructed by India along the Nepal-India border have been causing inundation across the tarai districts, Former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has stressed the need for diplomatic dialogue with India for resolving the inundation problem.
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Deuba, who is the president of the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC), said that it has become necessary to seriously raise the inundation issue with the Indian government.
After Gaur, the headquarters of Rautahat district, was submerged in rainwaters two weeks ago, the locals blamed the Indian causeway along the border for the flooding. A week after returning from the field visit to the flood-affected areas, Deuba said that the problem can’t be solved until Nepal and India discuss the issue seriously.
“Affected locals on the Nepali side blame India for the inundation while those on the Indian side blame Nepal for causing inundation in India,” said Deuba. “How long can Nepal and India play the blame game?”
“We should raise the problem with India through diplomatic channels and find a long-term solution to the problem,” said Deuba.
At least 100 have been killed in recent weeks due to flooding, inundation and landslides while more than 17,000 families are affected from the disaster in Nepal.
Also stating that India has been pressing the authorities to remove settlements on the Nepali side near the Koshi barrage citing security concerns, Deuba urged the government to strongly protest such pressure. “If there are security concerns, Nepal should address them. The safety and security of our citizens is our concern,” he said.
With the ruling NCP leaders agreeing to hold discussion on the public importance motion on flood relief registered by two opposition parties including NC and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, the parties ended their obstruction of parliament from Wednesday.