- Published Date : July 30, 2019
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali has said that the Nepal government would raise the issues of flooding and inundation and various infrastructure constructed by the Indian government during the Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting.
The Foreign Minister said so during a program organized by Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) on Friday.
Speaking at the program, Minister Gyawali said, “We are holding Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting this time,” adding, “A joint team of both the countries will prepare a report by conduct a field study of the places that have been facing the problem of floods and inundation and forward it for the implementation.”
Earlier, Nepal and India had agreed to convene the fifth meeting of the Joint Commission at Foreign Minister level in Kathmandu to resolve the bilateral issues.
Nepal has already held a meeting with India to organize a Joint Commission meeting. The date, however, has not been fixed yet. The main objective of the meeting is to hold discussions on the disputed issues of the two countries and direct the concerned authority to resolve the issues. Earlier, the meeting was held in 2014 after a hiatus of 22 years. The meeting was last held again in 2016.
On the occasion, Minister Gyawali said the concerned authority has been holding meetings with the diplomats of both the countries to resolve the problem of floods and inundation due to the various infrastructure constructed by Indian government.
Speaking at the program, experts and concerned stakeholders urged the Minister to chalk out the issues of floods and inundations through diplomatic level.
Minister Gyawali said that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had also raised the issues of floods and inundation during his visit to India. This would have negative impact on bilateral ties between the two countries.
“Embankments are necessary, but the flow of water should not be stopped. Both the countries know that there are mistakes while constructing the infrastructure,” the Minister said. “The joint monitoring team has been carrying out the study. Nepal will raise these issues with top priority during the Joint Commission meeting,” he added.
Also speaking at the same program, former Nepali ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay said that India has been trying to control the natural flow of water by constructing dams, roads and other infrastructure by breaching the international law. India has been planning to take all the water of Nepal during the winter which is not good, he said. “We have been demanding to remove such infrastructure,” Upadhyay added.
“I had raised the issue of infrastructures which were constructed without the consent of Nepal during a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Following that meeting, Prime Minister Modi had held a meeting with the officials of concerned authority,” he said. “The issues should be resolved in the long-term. Nepal is ready. Nepal has not been able to use the water as per the Koshi and Gandak agreement. Nepal did not demand irrigation facility as per the Gandak agreement for a long time. We raised this issue two years ago and Nepal and India have also reached an agreement,” the former Nepali ambassador to India said.
Saying that infrastructures should not be constructed without the consent of sovereign country, he said that India should be ready to resolve these issues in the long-term.
Similarly, speaking at the same program, former Minister for Energy and Water Resource Deepak Gyawali said that Koshi and Gandak have not only affected Nepalis but also the people of Indian state of Bihar. He said that the farmers of Bihar have been forced to go to Mumbai in search of work, leaving their land barren. The main problem was the construction of embankments.
He further said that the construction of embankments has not only damaged the land but also made the politics of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar corrupt. “I visited Bihar as the Minister for Energy and Water Resource. Indian government did not give me permission to visit Uttar Pradesh, “he said, adding, “The visit helped me to understand various aspects of floods and inundation. India has constructed road-like embankment.”
Likewise, Deputy Director General of the Department of Irrigation Pradeep Thapa said, “We have prepared reports after field study of various flooded areas. The problem of inundation has surfaced due to the infrastructure constructed in 11 places. The Nepal government has been holding consultations with the Indian government to resolve this issue in many places. The bilateral meeting was held in May this year.”
“We have been raising this issue every year. This issues should be resolved through dialogue. India has also been facing the problem,” said Suman Karna.
He said that the embankment could not control the flood. Karna said that concerned stakeholders and officials of local level should participate to solve this problem.