India blames Nepalese administration for flood in Nepal

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Kathmandu, Aug 20 (UNI) The Indian Embassy here has said that the Nepali administration's failure to cooperate with the Indian technical team working at Saptakoshi embankment caused the inundation in Sunsari, affecting nearly 50,000 people, local media reports here said today.

''The Indian technical team has been in Nepal for past many days to reinforce and strengthen the spurs and the embankment on the Saptkoshi river in consultation with the local administration.

However, despite repeated requests and pleas by the team for urgent local support in view of the gravity of the situation, the support from local administration has not been forthcoming,'' Nepal news quoted a press release issued by the Embassy as saying.

''As a result, the work was frequently hindered, disrupted and delayed,'' it said.

The concerns of the Indian technical team and the gravity of the situation were conveyed by the Embassy to the local administration and central authorities on August 17 and their cooperation and support was sought, the release said.

''At the same time, the Indian technical team was directed to carry out the work on day-and-night basis.'' ''The team mobilised required resources and has remained in readiness to carry out the required work to strengthen the embankment but it was prevented from reaching the site,'' the Embassy said adding that ''as a consequence, thousands of people in Nepal and India have been forced to suffer a calamity that could have been avoided.'' The Embassy said it is in constant touch with the concerned authorities in Nepal and India and has proposed specific action to contain and close the breach in the embankment.

''While the Indian technical team is ready to undertake protective measures, this will become possible only if it received necessary cooperation from the Government of Nepal and support from the local people.'' The Indian reaction comes amid reports of carelessness on the Indian side which is responsible for operation and maintenance of the Kosi barrage.

UNI XC ARB CS1550

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