In trying to be balanced in his coverage of the renewed Indian interest in building the Kosi dam, Navin Singh Khadka seems to have missed out a couple of vital points that make this mammoth project a folly ('A high dam on the Kosi', #203). Let me enumerate:
a. A 100 sq km reservoir will put Nepal's most fertile valleys permanently under water.
b. The Kosi High Dam and the Sun Kosi Diversion are incompatible, building one will make the other worthless.
c. The Indians are dangling navigation on the Kosi as a lollipop, but dredging a river with that kind of sediment load will make it make barge-pulling impractical.
d. A high dam on the Kosi will not reduce the danger of floods in Bihar, since many of the big floods in recent years have been on Chure and Bhitri Madhesh rivers, not the Himalayan ones, as we have seen this week.
No doubt, a compromise is possible, but will it happen given the track record of India-Nepal cooperation on the Kosi?
Lok Raj Aryal,