• Saturday, Oct 31, 2020
  • Last Update : 10:05 pm

After new map, Nepal claims land in Bihar, stops India’s embankment work

  • Published at 06:40 pm June 22nd, 2020
Locals gather concrete fragments and heavy bags wrapped in nets to build a dam as floodwaters flow from the north into the state of Indian eastern state of Bihar near Muzaffarpur on July 13, 2019 AFP

Nepal’s forced stoppage of the embankment project on the Lalbakeya River also coincides with firing by Nepalese border guards that killed an Indian villager a week ago

Days after Nepal approved new map, which includes disputed territories that India also claims, Kathmandu has stopped all repair work of river embankments in Bihar on the India-Nepal border, Indian media reported.

Nepal has erected barriers and effectively put a stop to work done by India to prevent flooding of its low-lying areas, the Bihar state government has alleged, reported Indian news agency, Asian News International (ANI).

This comes barely four days after the Upper House of Nepal’s parliament approved a new political map for the country.

In the new map, disputed territories such as Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura - which now controlled by India - have been shown as part of Nepalese territory, a move that has been rejected by India, saying it was not based on historical facts or evidence.

Also Read - New Nepal map hardens position over land disputed with India

Nepal’s forced stoppage of the embankment project on the Lalbakeya River also coincides with firing by Nepal’s border guards that killed an Indian villager a week ago, although both governments have played the incident down.

The Lalbakeya originates in Nepal, flows along the India-Nepal border and then flows into the Bagmati River in Bihar’s Sitamarhi district. Heavy rain in Nepal causes devastating floods in Bihar’s East Champaran district and adjoining areas every year.

Bihar, which shares 729 kilometer-long international borders with Nepal, had constructed the embankment over the river and had been carrying out fortification work every year ahead of the monsoon.

Also Read - New Nepal map heightens territorial dispute with India

State Water Resources Minister, Sanjay Kumar Jha on Monday told ANI that his government will approach the Ministry of External Affairs and apprise them of the threat posed by the situation.

According to the minister they have never faced such objections from Nepal. And he added that it is for the first time that such behaviour is being observed from Nepal authorities.

“The Gandak barrage in Valmiki Nagar has 36 gates and 18 of those are on the Nepal side. They have installed barriers there, which have never happened before. On Sunday also over 150,000 cusecs water was released from the barrage. If the flood-fighting materials and our officers cannot go there, then, in that case, there will be a grave danger,” Jha told ANI.

Also Read - Nepal's parliament approves new map including territory controlled by India

Similarly, Nepal has obstructed repair work on the embankment on Lalbakeya River, in east Champaran district in Bihar, where there is no man’s land and the dam is present for 20 years.

The fresh incident comes amid the violent conflict between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Ladakh region last week, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

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