Koshi Embankment: A Panacea Turned Into Suffering
(A Documentary Film by Bhavesh Nandan – Just Watched on DD National)
Documentary Film just shown on Durdarshan – DD National made by brother-friend Bhavesh Nandan Jha has given a solid influencing message to all the concerned.
He has been able to cover the most of things – but failed to assess how both the state and center used this Koshi Embankment project for fulfillment of their selfishness. Billions and trillions of the state and union budget spent already but the sufferings have not yet been resolved, why and how? This question remains unanswered. But I appreciate the making of this documentary would show a mirror to policymakers of the nation.
Some highlights that influenced me:
1. Experts like Mr. G. S. Jha, Dinesh Mishra who have studied the project and outcome of this project is really impressive.
2. Locals with much experiences of what was before the embankments and what is after, like Devchandra Yadav, Thakkan Jha, Devendra Singh and many others have given a clear picture of what was before and what is now. The intent of the documentary that the embankment project is not useful at all, rather it has ruined the life of 380 villages and millions of peple within the east and west embankments and also to another billions of people just outside these embankments in Mithila region.
3. Ex-CM Jagannath Mishra duly shown with his irresponsible bytes for what he felt about Koshi during his childhood did not give me any good impression. As an ex-CM, he should have said for what he and his government did there.
4. Smt. Shefalika Verma and Prof. Dr. Deoshankar Navin also shown in the documentary say the knowledge and experience of the producer – well done Bhavesh Nandan!
5. Core issue of resolving the disaster of Koshi is also touched by the documentary. In brief it started how British Government has planned, but gave no details exactly what that plan, why that was not implemented and also the main cause how Government of India cheated the people of this area by transferring the passed budgetary provisions by the British India government to Bengal and Punjab to attract those societies towards economical development by the then Congress Government immediately after independence and that after partition of the country as West and East Pakistan. I expect, the research team will continue to find/collect more information and reveal all these hidden and forgotten biases against Bihar/Mithila.
6. A flood of 1953 is said to be the cause behind starting the embankment project is totally false. The project was well in talk since 1943, by the then (23rd) Viceroy Lord Wavell (from 1st October 1943 to 21st February 1947). Even the budgetary fund was allocated for this. But immediately after independence at cost of partition, the same fund was shifted into other two vital projects called Damodar Valley Project and Bhakhara Nangal Project respectively to Bengal and Punjab. Remember, Bengal and Punjab became the favorite spots for Mithila’s labors to earn their breads and the tradition is still the same. But Bihar’s first CM Shri Krishna Singh had protested this thing, even wrote a letter to Dr. Rajendra Prasad – the first President of India to persuade Nehru Jee who in return could not do so much as belonging to the group of Saradar Vallabh Bhai Patel. But, reluctant pressure from Bihar side and of course the referred flood of 1953 finally got the central government provide this embankment project. The veterans (experts) can explain us better that why Wavell Project in as it is form not passed, but just a lolly pop was given to Bihar which is very welly said to be a temporary arrangement for 20 years.
7. Rajendra Babu is said to be in favor of embankment project, matter of curiosity for me! Indeed!! 🙂
8. 8 times broken, 1000s of lives gone, useless and hopeless project, water logging problem, jalkumbhi panaahgaah, rehabilitation of victimized people got dishonest settlements, those migrated peoples again returned back, present lifestyles, health concerns, transportation, connectivity, difficulties in human life, no electricity, high-tension wire crossing through this area but no electricity, mobile tower available, 18th century’s India if mobile availability is minus, these are the beauties of this documentary. I loved it really. It touched my heart.
9. MP’s Pappu Yadav and Ranjita Ranjan (husband-wife MP’s of this area) are also shown and talking as if they are as helpless as the people of this area…. as MP’s what have been their action-plans, they should have asked those questions of course.
10. Vikash Baibhav (IPS) byte also explains the pain of the people from this area.
11. Self run hand pumps indicating the rise in water level under the ground recalled me the similar boring pumps which automatically blow the water throughout the year.
12. Documentary’s beauties are many. I loved the Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi who also lived and worked for welfare of deprived children, engaged by their parents or society in child labor. The problem is very serious indeed.
Besides all above, the solution hinted as high dam in Nepal at Koshi’s origin point in hills but not focusing on why Nepal is not ready for the same is again the lacunae. There is need to research more on the possibility of high dams on Koshi in hills of Nepal, the risks and losses that would be caused to the people of this small nation, the views of the people who will become homeless if such dam is made, and all those related points which may come for such solution. You cannot decided one-sided. Upper house MP Prabhat Jha is shown giving bytes for dialogue with Nepal. He must have proper studies of dialogues and treaties between India and Nepal, he must have even studied about how India maintained the last time treaty on Koshi with Nepal.
I think Prof. Dr. Deoshankar Navin has given better hint of more elaborate water management in Koshi, we must think about other alternative ways rather than creating a very very risky water bomb in hills of Nepal as high dam. Imagine, who will control such dam from your enemies! And what will happen if such dam blasts! Just imagine!! Water has its own courses of flowing to downwards, from highlands to lowlands. If the flow is made totally porous and also water storage by several wetlands, ponds, canals, rivers in proper ways, I believe, we would be able to harvest and protect using Koshi water which will certainly help to the prosperity of this region.
MP Pappu Yadav – as a lawmaker, as a people’s elected representative, he cannot just say ‘Niati ban gayi hai’. Bhaiya, you must show more courage and fight for justice for the people. For your own constituency and others in the region.
Anyway, thanks Bhavesh Jee – your idea of ending this document is loved again. Bhagvan hi sahara hai – nachari and other sacred hymn sung by the devoted people is the ultimate solution. Nice to see the people singing – kahiya harab duhkh mor! sundar! 🙂 Bahut raas gambhir vimarsh ke janma dait e documentary! Kudos Bhavesh again!!