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India halts construction of embankment along Mahakali River, survey team reaches Darchula



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By Gokarna Dayal, Baitadi, Apr. 12: The construction of embankment along Mahakali River being done unilaterally by India without informing Nepal has been halted for now.

After inspecting the area where the embankment was being constructed, a team of the Department of Survey has reached Darchula to hold discussions with the Indian team.

India had started the construction embankment in Nepal’s land at the Galfai area in Mahakali Municipality-5 of Darchula affecting the flow of the river. Flood in the Mahakali River in 2013 had changed the river's path which made the Galfai area fall on the other side of the river. India had been constructing the embankment in the same area.

The District Administration Office, Darchula informed that a team including representatives from the Department of Survey had been formed to inspect the construction site and to hold talks with the Indian team.

Siddha Raj Joshi, Chief District Officer of Darchula said that the construction works were halted for now by sending a letter to Pithauragadh District in the Uttarakhand State of India.

“Officials from the Department of Survey have already reached Darchula. The meeting will be held with India after inspecting the site on Monday,” he said.

A five-member team of the survey department led by deputy secretary Dayananda Joshi has reached Darchula along with Nepal’s map. The team has prepared to observe the situation of Nepali land from Darchula to Tanakpur if needed.

“We are holding a conversation with India’s representatives today. We’ve come here with full preparations. This is all I can say for now,” said Joshi.

“As the Mahakali River changed its direction after the flood in 2013, around 1,000 Ropanis land of Nepal has gone across the river,” said Shovakar Poudel, director of Mahakali River Control Project.

“Around 1,000 Ropanis land of Galfai area including the building of forest office and playground had gone across the river due to the change in direction of Mahakali. Currently, India is constructing the embankment at the same place by encroaching 30 meters of Nepal’s territory.”