By A Staff Reporter, Kathmandu, Dec. 7: Expressing concerns over the unilateral embankment construction project being built on the Mahakali River at the western border, Nepal has sent a diplomatic note to India.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Sewa Lamsal told The Rising Nepal that a ‘note’ was sent to India on Tuesday via its embassy in Kathmandu. According to the MoFA, the note includes Nepal’s official stand on the issue and its expectations from India.
Earlier on Monday, the government had said that it would initiate diplomatic dialogue with India on the issue where the latter has been constructing a gabion mesh in the middle of the Mahakali River about seven metres inside the Nepali territory.
According to our Darchula correspondent, the mesh is part of a larger embankment India has been constructing on the river that would allegedly push it towards Nepal and put many areas of Darchula district, including the headquarters Khalanga, at risk of flooding. Bulldozers are also at work on the other side of the border.
Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, who is also the spokesperson for the government, had said the other day, “The government will hold bilateral talks with India. If there are any problems, we need to resolve them through diplomatic channel. This is the official stand of the government,” he had said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, during a meeting of the ruling party leaders on Monday, had also said that dialogues were underway with India on the matter.
India had started work on the one-kilometre structure last year and, to object to the damages it had caused and will cause to Nepal, the locals padlocked a suspension bridge at the border on Sunday. There was a stone pelting from both sides across the border which injured some Nepali children.
To check the violence from further escalating, the District Police Office of Darchula had deployed police force to keep things under control. Meanwhile, the padlocked bridge was opened on Monday following a discussion between teams led by Chief District Officer Dirgha Raj Upadhyay and the Indian officials.
According to the locals, if the river is pushed towards Nepal, it will inundate vast swathes of land and many houses will be affected, and in that case, the Government of Nepal could not do anything.