On Nepal's behalf, the Department of Electricity has been selected for the Nepal-India joint feasibility study of the Kosi High Dam. The choice is bad because the department has neither the technical capability required nor the manpower. Its functions include promoting, implementing and developing hydropower in the public and private sector. Since the Kosi High dam will not only generate power between 3,000-5,000 megawatt but will also deal with flood control, navigation and irrigation, the department will have no role to play in areas other than hydropower development.
For a multi-purpose project such as this, the Water and Energy Commission would have been the right choice. Ironically, its offices have been transformed into a dumping site. While we bungle with wrong choices for the study, India has established at least four offices in Nepal. This will result in only India conducting the study in Nepal. India will bring out a report of the pros and cons of the 280m high dam. If the right agency represented Nepal and field studies were conducted in Bihar also, the Indian state directly affected by the project, Nepal would know its shortcomings and about India's ambitious river-linking project. Without studies in India, how can Nepal know the benefits India will reap from the high dam? An office must be established in Bihar, just as they have been in Biratnagar, Dharan, Siraha and Janakpur.