HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
ITAHARI: Water flow in the Koshi River today crossed the danger limit, forcing authorities at the Koshi Barrage to raise a red flag and switch on a red light on both sides of the barrage.
With monsoon in full swing and rains lashing the eastern hill regions since yesterday, water flow in the river this morning was recorded at 97,145 cusec, which dramatically rose to 153,545 cusec in the afternoon, just above the danger limit of 150,000 cusec. According to SI Shambhu Basnet at the Barrage Police Post, by 4:00pm, water flow in Koshi had touched 156,400 cusec mark, the highest for this year. SI Basnet said 21 out of the total 56 sluices of the barrage have been opened. Last year the highest water flow measured in the river was 269,075 cusec and 33 sluices had to be opened to ease the water flow. Technicians from Nepal and India are keeping a close eye on the barrage and Koshi water flow. Nepali technicians today claimed that all the embankments and the bridge over the Koshi River were safe so far.
Fear looms large over settlements near the Koshi River every year during monsoon. Four years ago, a swollen Koshi had breached its course and swept away embankments and submerged several districts in Nepal and India, affecting around two million people. The water flow then was recorded at 167,000 cusec.
Though the Koshi Barrage is said to be able to withstand 900,000 cusec water flow, locals live under the fear of floods every monsoon, as the structures that were built in 1962 have already served longer than they were expected to.