Deadly Nepal flood river diverted
In a major relief and hope for millions of victims in the Nepal and bordering areas of India, the deadly river Kosi has been diverted back to its original course. The river caused massive flash floods that displaced millions of people in India and Nepal five months ago and killed more than 500 people. More than 500 construction staff have been working frantically to restore its old route and they have successfully built dams and restored the man-made embankment which was breached.
The Saptakoshi River, which had begun to flow through the human settlements after breaching the embankment in Sunsari’s Paschim Kusaha, was today reverted back to its original course after nearly five-and-a-half months. Cofferdams built with the use of sand sacks, concrete and galvanised wire were used to alter the river’s course.
On August 18, the river had flooded the human settlements after the embankment was breached. Senior engineer of the water resources department of India, S Kumar,
said, “The river has been tamed and was reverted to its same old course on Monday.”
Four VDCs — Laukahi, Haripur, Sripur and Pashchim Kusaha in Sunsari — were completely submerged in Koshi flood on August 18, while six other VDCs were also affected. Nearly 50,000 villagers in the 10 VDCs were displaced in the floods and have been languishing in the camps set up by the government.
The river had also submerged thousands of hectares of cultivable land and damaged the East-West Highway, cutting off the region from the rest of the country.
Indian government had awarded the contract to revert the Koshi River to its old path to the Vashishta and Vashishta. The construction company had planned to finish the
task by December 2008. It built three cofferdams to tame the river. The first, second and third cofferdams are 160m, 310m and 410m in length, respectively, said Jha.