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New beginning



At the recently held Patna Conference, Bihar's Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, like the chief minister in 1992, proposed to construct a high dam on the Kosi, but he also mentioned that the prosperity of Nepal and the Nepali people is equally important. The chief minister said: "First of all the electricity should cater to the needs of the Nepali people. Only if there is surplus power should it be exported to India to generate revenue..."

Employment generators can't be sustained without reasonably priced and easily available power. And without new employment, Nepal cannot prosper. Bihar and the other border states face similar challenges, but it is a welcome gesture from the chief minister to acknowledge that Nepal needs power too.

The chief minister's view that the environment and ecosystems will be strengthened by high dams is not true. The proposed high dams will produce large amounts of electricity, but it's likely that thousands will be displaced, forests, tributaries and biodiversity will be seriously affected. Any hydropower development must also consider these issues.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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