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Nepal halts embankment repair work along border with India, lays claim to land

NABF claimed that embankment was built at no man's land that belongs to Nepal and no construction works would thus be allowed.

Published: 23rd June 2020 12:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2020 12:31 AM   |  A+A-

Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali points to a map of Nepal in Kathmandu.

Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali points to a map of Nepal in Kathmandu. (File Photo | AP)

Express News Service

PATNA: In a move aimed at provoking India, Nepal governemnt halted an anti-erosion and embankment repair work, which was being carried out by the Water Resource Department (WRD) of Bihar government along the border and claimed that it had sovereignty over it.

Nepal Armed Border Forces (NABF) claimed that embankment was built at no man's land that belonged to Nepal and hence no construction works would be allowed.

Flood protection work along the region has continued for a long time as per the agreement between India and Nepal, wherein work in the upstream Nepal part of rivers Gandak, Lalbekiya and Kamla have been carried out by the WRD.

On June 15, the Nepal Armed Border Forces (NABF) arrived in East Champaran's Guawari and asserted its claim over 500 meters of land, between pillars 345 and 347, forcing the engineers and others to stop their repair work there.

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The NABF personnel also put up a barrier also near gate number 18 of Gandak barrage, over river Lalbekiya, preventing the movement of machinery, men and material towards the spot.

The event comes to light three days after an Indian national was killed along the border on June 12 along the Indo Nepal border in Bihar's Sitamarhi over an altercation with the locals at no man's land.

The unprecedented move has caused panic due to possibility of future floods and largescale devastation amongst people of Bihar.

In fact, the embankment built on the Gandak barrage protects a major swathe of areas in North Bihar including East Champaran from being submerged due to heavy rains.

Confirming the development, WRD minister Sanjay Kumar Jha admitted that flood protection work has been blocked due to objections raised by Nepal.

"We have written letters to Ministry of Jal Shakti Department and the Ministry of External Affairs requesting them for immediate intervention to sort out the dispute so that works for flood protection can start again," Jha said.

Meanwhile, water level has started increasing in river Gandak and others, which originate from the Himalayan ranges from the Nepal side and fall into the Indian territory.

Around 15 districts in North Bihar face flood fury every year due to increased water levels in Gandhak and other rivers and excessive rainfall in the catchment areas of Himalayas.

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