Saptakoshi High Dam

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Nepal and India recently agreed to reduce the height of the proposed Saptakoshi High Dam amid concerns in Nepal over the potential inundation of a large swathe of land upstream of the dam.

About Saptakoshi High Dam

  • It is a multipurpose project proposed to be constructed on the Saptakoshi River of Nepal (known as Koshi River in India).
  • The project is primarily aimed at controlling floods in southeast Nepal and northern Bihar and generating hydropower.
  • It is a bilateral project of the Indian and Nepalese governments under the Koshi agreement.
  • The proposed place lies 1.6 km upstream from Barahakshetra temple in the Sunsari district of Nepal.

Key Facts about Koshi River:

  • The Koshi River, also known as the "Saptakoshi" in Nepal, is a trans-boundary river that flows through India and Nepal.
  • It is the largest river basin in Nepal.
  • It is one of the biggest tributaries of the Ganga.
  • Course:
    • It originates from the Tibetan Plateau, crosses the Himalayas, and flows through the Mahabharat range and Siwalik hills, reaching the plains of eastern Nepal and finally meeting the Ganges in India.
    • The overall length of the river is 729 km (453 miles).
  • The Kosi river valley is bounded by steep margins that disconnect it from the Yarlung Zangbo River to the north, the Mahananda River to the east, the Gandaki to the west and the Ganga to the south.
  • Tributaries:
    • Indrawati, Sun Koshi, Tama Koshi, Likhu, Dudh Koshi, Arun, and Tamor are the major seven tributaries of the Koshi river system.
    • These seven tributaries meet at Triveni, from where it is called Sapta-Koshi.
  • Over the last 250 years, the Kosi River has changed its course. It has an unstable nature due to heavy silt. 
  • The Koshi River, often dubbed the 'Sorrow of Bihar,' inflicts devastating floods and substantial damage each year.

Q1) What is the Koshi agreement?

India and Nepal signed the Kosi agreement in 1954 to regulate the flow of the river and ensure flood management. A barrage straddling the India-Nepal border was to be constructed for this purpose, and embankments were to be raised on either side of the river. At the same time, the project was also to be utilized for power generation and irrigation purposes. 

Source: Nepal, India Agree to Reduce Height of Saptakoshi Dam