ITAHARI, July 25: The water flow at Koshi river crossed 200,000 cubic foot per second (cusec) for the first time this year recording a high of 205,795 cusecs Wednesday evening following heavy rainfall in the hilly districts.
The Koshi Barrage control room has lit the red light at both the eastern and western parts of the barrage to indicate danger after the water flow crossed 200,000 cusec.
The red light in the eastern part of the barrage is lit after water flow crossed 150,000 cusec, the one in the western part is lit after the level crosses 200,000 cusec and the one in the middle after 300,000 cusec.
The red light in the eastern part was lit on just two occasions this monsoon season. Thirty-two of the 56 gates in the barrage has been opened following the rise in water flow and more gates will be opened according to requirement, Inspector at Sunsari Police Khadga Paudel said.
The vulnerable eastern embankment, however, is not under threat despite the water level increasing significantly.“There is no immediate threat at any point. There is no problem even in the sensitive point of Pulthegouda,” Chief District Officer of Sunsari Laxman Bahadur Thapa said. Thapa said both Nepali and Indian officials were closely monitoring the situation.
The barrage was constructed to withstand pressure of 800,000 cusec when it was completed in early 1960s. But if the water flow were to reach 800,000 cusec, water would overflow from both eastern and western sides of the barrage as the capacity of barrage has been drastically reduced by massive sedimentation, experts claim.
The water level crosses 300,000 cusec every year but it has not crossed 400,000 cusec for a long time. The water level was 178,000 cusec when the embankment was breached on the eastern side on August 18, 2008.