India pledges Rs.48 mn for Nepal flood victims
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae Saturday announced assistance of Rs.48 million for the victims of recent floods and landslides in the country.
Rae made the announcement at an event here to mark India's 68th Independence Day.
Nepali Foreign Minister Mahednra Bahadur Pandey thanked the envoy for the assistance and called for robust engagements between the two countries.
"Though politically we are divided, we have (many) similarities in our social and cultural matters. Nepal and India should have strong presence in UN and other multilateral organisations," Pandey said.
Landslides and floods triggered by torrential rains in the last four days have left 58 people dead in the Himalayan nation while more than 150 are missing.
According to Nepal's ministry of home affairs, over 3,500 people have been evacuated to safer areas.
The water-level in major rivers has risen above danger mark, causing fears of more floods in a large swathe of land in the southern plains adjoining India.
In an emergency meeting chaired by India's Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth in New Delhi late Friday, it was decided to open gates of three dams on the India-Nepal border to ease the flood situation in Nepal.
Seth has instructed the authorities to open the gates of Kailashpur barrage in Kailai, Laxmanpur in Banke and Mahalisagar in Kapilvastu districts, according to the Indian embassy here.
The step was taken after Nepal's ministry of foreign affairs asked India to help reduce the rising water level in India-bound rivers in Nepal.
India has also kept on stand by three helicopters and a plane to assist Nepal in rescue and search operations, a senior Indian official said, adding that authorities have sought real-time information from Nepal regarding the flood situation and the level of water in India-bound rivers.
(Posted on 16-08-2014)