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

Worst Environmental Crisis of South Asia

Kosi's drainage crisis is the worst environmental and public health crisis in South Asia. I have returned from Kosi region on 15th March, 2010. Let me flag three things:

1. A Commission of Inquiry was constituted by the Government of Bihar under the chairmanship of Justice Rajesh Balia, Retired Chief Justice, Patna High Court to enquire into the causes of breach in the Eastern Kosi Afflux Bund on 18th August 2008 so as to prevent occurrence of such disaster in future. TOR of this Commission is right in looking at the Kosi crisis since 1953. TOR should include India-Nepal treaty as well. Commission is faced with non-cooperation from government
Departments. Kosi is waiting for yet another disaster in August-September 2010

2. So-called solutions to Kosi crisis such as High Dam in Nepal, Interlinking of Rivers within Bihar and more embankments would aggravate the crisis

3. UPA-1 manifesto promised to work to solve the drainage crisis of North Bihar (& Nepal) but so far it has not done anything

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