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Nepal doubts Indian claim on cause of flood

world Updated: Jun 24, 2013 01:18 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Questions are being raised in Nepal, on India’s claim that last week’s devastating floods in Mahakali River were not caused by release of excess water from Dhauliganga Dam in Uttarakhand.

Heavy downpour had resulted in heavy flooding in the river that falls on the border between both countries and caused severe damage in Darchula in far-western Nepal bordering India. Media reports quoting residents of the affected areas had blamed release of excess water from reservoir of the 280 MW project as the cause for sudden rise in the river’s water level.

On Friday, the Indian embassy in Kathmandu issued a statement saying since excess water from the dam passed through spillways, “the question of India releasing the dam water simply does not arise”.

But not many in Nepal seem to agree to this contention.

In an opinion/blog that appeared in on Sunday, Nepal’s chief secretary Lilamani Poudel hinted that release of excess water from Dhauliganga could be responsible.

“Locals, politicians, civil society leaders and businessmen from the area don’t believe this disaster to be a natural one,” the news portal quoted him as saying.

Paudel was part of a team (that included chairman of the interim government Khil Raj Regmi) which undertook a survey of affected areas on Thursday. “Since the matter was related to a project in a friendly country, the chairman didn’t make any comment (on the accusations),” Paudel stated.