Historically, floods and their control have never been a big issue in the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin, as it is today. Floods became a major issue after the British occupied India. When they examined the Ganga basin, they believed that if it could be made “flood-free”, they could levy a tax in return for such protection.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

News Update on Kosi

-Gross injustice has been done to Bihar by not giving any special package to flood victims of Kosi region on the pattern of tsunami and Aila victims.

-Infrastructure project development firm KNR Constructions on Wednesday said the company in consortium with two other firms has bagged a project worth Rs 225.27 crore from the Bihar Government for renovation of Eastern Kosi Canal System. The company’s 50:25:25 joint venture with JKM Infra Projects and Kamala Constructions has been awarded the contract by the Bihar Government for extension, renovation and modernisation of Eastern Kosi Canal System, KNR Constructions said in a filing to th e Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Hyderabad based KNR Constructions (formerly K Narasimha Reddy & Co.) is an infrastructure development company, based in Andhra Pradesh, which provides engineering, procurement and construction management services across the roads and highways, irrigation and urban water infrastructure sectors.

-In the year of Kosi disaster about 1,20,000 hectares of land went under water in August, 2008 destroying not only the kharif crop but also sharply reducing the rabi acreage.

-Principal Accountant General, a Constitutional body has in its report held the improper work by the state Water Resources Department responsible for the breach in the Kosi embankment. Nitish Kumar government is now questioning the authority of the Principal Accountant General (PAG). "PAG does not have the power to govern. If the report comes to me then I will see what action can be taken. But there can be no action based just on reports," says Bihar Water Resources Minister Bijendra Yadav.

The Principal Accountant General (Audit), Bihar, Arun Kumar Singh observed that the lack of sincere approach in protection work by the state Water Resources Department (WRD) led to the breach in the eastern Kosi embankment near Kusaha on August 18, 2008. The PAG has observed that the Water Resoures Department, Bihar ignored the proposals of the Head, Works and Eastern Kosi Embankment Divisions, Birpur regarding protection work on vulnerable sites of the embankment and took no steps to protect it, the flood protection works were centred mainly on spurs and the embankment remained untouched. The PAG also noted that there was lack of coordination between Nepalese and Indian administrations on the safety measures of the Kosi project area.

The exit conference on the audit, which was held on December 17, 2009 the PAG said that WRD did not furnish reply to queries of his office on certain points on the pretext of the constitution of inquiry commission under the chairmanship of retired Justice Rajesh Balia, by the government of Bihar to inquire into the facts of the Kosi breach. But the denial of reply was violation of Regulation-13 on audit and accounts relating to scope of audit.

-Nationalist Congress Party National Media Convenor Suraj Yadav’s petion to Prime Minister the PMO vide PMO ID No 1/3/2009-PMP 1/87862 dated 2nd November 2009 has informed the petitioner that the petition has been forwarded to Secretary,Ministry of Home Affairs,Govt of India, “for action as appropriate”.

Prof. Suraj Yadav had petitioned to National Human Rights Commission in September 2008 demanding an inquiry into the Kosi Tragedy and to fix the responsibility for this human sponsored tragedy which had cast doom for lakhs of people in nearly eight districts of Bihar.

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