The water flow in the Saptakoshi river (also called Kosi river) has suddenly increased in the past few days due to the onset of monsoon season, raising fears of a re-run of a death and devastation it caused around this time last year.
Reports said alarms started ringing after Saptakoshi river on Friday recorded a substantial increase in water flow than what was recorded in the past few days since the arrival of monsoon in the country this week.
The Saptakoshi river on Friday morning recorded a flow of 181,066 cusec which is much higher than 121,000 cusec recorded Thursday.
The sudden rise in the water flow is a cause of concern because when the river breached its embankment at Kusaha village in Sunsari district last year (August 2008) it had been flowing at 167,000 cusec.
What's more, the rain-fed river is continually expanding, causing the water level at the dam to rise.
On Thursday, one of the flood gates was washed away by the fast-flowing river, forcing the Koshi barrage administration to announce emergency.
Fearing that the river might again begin to breach the embankment with the rising water level, the administration had opened 29 of the 56 flood gates yesterday.
Earlier, the Sunsari district administration had asked the Bihar government, which is responsible for maintaining and operating the barrage on the river, to open more gates.
Last month, a team of Nepali parliamentarians had inspected the Koshi barrage and expressed dissatisfaction over the nature of the repair done in it.
The conclusion led to fears that not enough has been done by the Bihar government to avoid the possibility of the havoc caused by the river in the region last year.
However, the Bihar government has been maintaining all along that the quality of repair works on the breach has been satisfactory and vulnerable parts have been well fortified.
Hundreds of people were killed and hundreds of thousands more were rendered homeless both in Nepal and India following the massive floods caused by Saptakoshi breaching its embankment. nepalnews.com