PATNA: Bihar government on Saturday issued a high alert cautioning several northern districts about imminent floods due to drastic rise in water level of Kosi after landslides blocked the course of the main river in Nepal.
The alert has been sounded after the massive landslide over Bhote Kosi on Friday night, which is one of the major tributaries of the Kosi river in Nepal, water resources minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary said.
“The landslide in the upper reaches of Bhote Kosi, around 100 kilometres beyond Kathmandu, has blocked the main course of the entire river. Water is fast accumulating there forming a massive water body. According to our information the Nepal army is preparing to blast the blockage.”
Chaudhary said a huge volume of water will be unleashed after the blast and an abrupt rise in the water level of Kosi is expected.
“We do not know the exact volume of water and are trying to estimate it. But a huge quantity of water is sure to be released after the blast. It may also spill beyond the Kosi and its embankments causing floods,” added the minister.
The state government is keeping its fingers crossed that a repeat of the Kosi disaster 2008 does not happen.
A breach in Kosi embankment at Kushaha in Nepal on August 18, 2008 had resulted in one of the most disastrous floods in Bihar. The river changed its course, killing hundreds of people and displacing around 30 lakh. The incident also brought wide scale destruction of agriculture over 8 lakh acres of land.
The water resources department (WRD) called an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss the situation that has built up due to the landslide over Bhote Kosi. It also discussed increasing water retaining capacity at Birpur barrage over Kosi on Indo-Nepal border through sluice gate operations.
All WRD officials have been called on duty. The department is also keeping a watch on the Varah Kshetra area of Nepal where Bhote Kosi joins the Kosi River. Normal water flow takes five to six hours to reach Birpur from there.