In an apparent provocative move, Nepal has stopped repair work for Gandak dam in Lal Bakeya river in Bihar on border with India by erecting barriers at several locations, the state government has claimed.

Minister for Water Resources, Sanjay Jha, told news agency ANI that it is for the first the authorities are facing such a problem in the movement of people and raw material for repair work.

He said the Gandak barrage has 36 gates of which 18 are in Nepal and the neighbouring country has put barriers in the area where the flood-fighting material is present.

“This has never happened in the past,” Jha added.

Jha further stated that if the engineers do not have the access to flood-fighting material there, then the repair work of the dam will be affected, thereby raising a serious problem in case water level of Gandak river rises due to heavy rainfall in Nepal.

The Bihar minister said the local engineers and District Magistrate is in talks with the concerned authorities and added that he will write a letter to Ministry of External Affairs over the current situation.

“If this issue is not addressed in time, then a major part of Bihar will be flooded,” he warned.

Meanwhile, the opposition RJD’s chief Tejashwi Yadav has said that the Bihar government is trying to put the onus on the Centre and is writing to the MEA after the monsoon has already arrived.

“The entire northern part of state is in danger of getting flooded,” he added.

The relation between Delhi and Kathmandu has turned sour after Nepal’s national assembly on Thursday passed the controversial bill on its updated political administrative map which includes parts of Indian territory, escalating the border dispute.

The New Map Amendment Bill (Coat of Arms) refers to an updated map which shows strategically important Indian territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura as territories of Nepal.

On June 13, the parliament of Nepal voted in favour of the constitutional amendment bill in a special session to update the country’s map, claiming areas under Indian territory.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s party had cleared the map last month which ignited fierce criticism from India which termed it as a unilateral move on a ‘sensitive issue’.

The government in New Delhi called the parliament move a violation and an artificial enlargement of claims. “This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues,” the government spokesperson had said.