Triveni locals want NC to mull Gandak barrage woes

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    Tribeni_Gandak BarrageTRIVENI (NAWALPARASI), April 8: Nepali Congress Party top leaders and activists from across the country have gathered for their Mahasamiti meeting to sort out the party´s internal rifts and pave the way forward, and the meeting venue is at the very place where the controversial Bhisalotan Gandak Barrage stands.

    The barrage had materialized after the then NC government reached an agreement on its construction on the Narayani River.

    Triveni locals are fed up with the apathy shown toward the problems they face due to the Gangak Barrage. According to them, the barrage is more pain than relief.
    They say that apart from searching for solutions to the internal differences in the party, the NC should mull over resolving the problems created by the barrage erected for the sole benefit of the Indian side.

    Locals informed that neither can the Nepali people claim the river nor can they use its water for their benefit. The barrage has created a perennial fear of flooding on one hand while people are forced to endure domineering by Indian boarder security personnel on the other.

    People had high hopes of development after the construction of the barrage. But, their dreams were shattered after the Indian side constructed it for its own sole benefit. The Gandak Canal carries Nepali water for the irrigation of vast swathes of land in the Indian states of Utter Pradesh and Bihar while Nepali land near the barrage remains dry and cracked for lack of irrigation. The same water provides ample electricity in Utter Pradesh but Triveni reels under 10-hour daily load-shedding.

    “We are enduring 10-hour daily power cuts and living just as in the past while places in India around the barrage have seen complete transformation thanks to the water from the Nepali river,” said Hari Paswan, a local.
    According to Prem Chandra Gupta of the Gandak Struggle Committee, the Gandak Agreement bars the Nepali side from using water from the river. “Our mouths dry up on seeing our own water flowing out to India while we ourselves cannot use water from the river,” Gupta said.

    According to Gopal Gurung, chief of the Save Susta Campaign, the Narayani river was diverted through a short cut for the construction of the barrage. As a consequence, the whole of Susta village, which used to be on this side of the river, ended up on the other side and now the Indians are claming that land as their own. “The border dispute at Susta started after the construction of the Gandak Barrage,” Gurung informed.

    Auranjeb Khan, a local, said that several hectares of land acquired by his ancestors in Susta have already been encroached by the Indian side. “I have left Susta but my sons are still struggling for their ancestral land,” another local, Munna Khan, added. As per the locals, the Indian side has already encroached on over 1,400 hectares of Nepali land at Susta.

    As per the Gandak treaty between Nepal and India in 1959, all tasks related to the barrage construction, erosion control and repairs are the responsibility of the Indian side. However, people at Triveni live in constant fear of inundation and flooding as the barrage has become obsolete and has not been properly maintained.

    Source : Republica