SAPTARI, Aug 16: It has been learnt that India has been lobbying with Nepal to allow the former to deploy its Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) along the Koshi Barrage arguing that the worn-out condition of the barrage poses high security challenge to India. The CISF is a paramilitary force which provides security to industrial facilities and government infrastructure projects across India.
Chief of Koshi Barrage Control Room at Bhardaha, Saptari, Indian engineer Bijay Kumar Singh said that the Indian side has completed almost all preparations required for the deployment of the paramilitary force but Nepal government has not yet given the green signal.
He said that the Indian side has already communicated with the Nepali side at the high level to allow its paramilitary force to guard the Koshi Barrage and take other safety measures to avoid any mishap.
“Reports prepared by various security agencies and intelligence wings under the central government of India have enlisted Koshi Barrage as one of the infrastructures posing high security threat to India, given the facility's worn-out condition.
The Indian side has already informed the Nepali side at the high level about the threat and also about its wish to deploy the paramilitary force,” he said.
He also informed that a team of CISF visited the Koshi Barrrage areas a few months ago and sought detailed information on the condition of the Koshi Barrage and safety and security measures taken by the Nepali side.
As per the 1950 Koshi Agreement between Nepal and India, India is responsible for barrage construction, its operation and maintenance while Nepal is responsible for the security of the infrastructure.
Currently, the paramilitary force has been providing security to metro rail facility in New Delhi, vital government buildings and facilities, hydropower plants, among other facilities, but all within India.
However, the District Administration Office, Saptari appears unaware about the 'visit made by the CISF team and also about the preparations of the Indian side to deploy the paramilitary force'.
“Some five or six months ago, the Indian Embassy had asked us in writing to beef up security along the Koshi Barrage. Afterward, we increased security presence at the barrage.
But we really do not know on what ground the Indian side is claiming that the infrastructure poses a high security threat,” said Chief District Officer Surendra Paudel.
He said that the District Administration Office does not have any information on the CISF visit to the barrage.
“As per the norm, any Indian team visiting the Nepali side should inform the Nepali authorities concerned beforehand, but since we were not informed, we really don't know if the team visited the barrage or not,” he said. He said that the Nepali security agencies are themselves capable to guard the Koshi Barrage.