Rajya Sabha members have recently demanded that the Union government should speed up its efforts to sign a treaty with Nepal, that will allow the government to channelise the waters flowing into Bihar. This will help in preventing floods. Nagendra Nath Ojha, a Communist Party of India member from Bihar, said that the construction of dams on Nepalese rivers could make a major difference to the state of Bihar. According to him, dams on the Neplases rivers will help in curbing floods and this, in turn, will boost the state's economy. In June, 2000 both the countries had agreed to collaborate for taming the numerous rivers originating from Nepal and passing through India to control annual flooding of the Indo-Gangetic plains. During a visit of the Nepalese foreign minister, an agreement was signed which stipluated that India will participation on a large scale in the construction of dams in Nepal ( Down To Earth , Vol 8, No 9).

India and Nepal have a long history of treaties on dams. A workshop organised in June 1999, which was attended by politicians, former bureaucrats, environmentalists, academi-cians, representatives from non-governmental organisations, economists, social scientitsts of both the countries and officials from the World Bank stated that dams were more than just instruments of harnessing the energy potential of water.

In February 1996, the Prime Ministers of Nepal and India signed adraft treaty committing the two countries to build a 6,480-megawatt Pancheshwar Dam, which, at 315 meters, would be the world's highest. The treaty also included building two smaller dams on the Mahakali River in the far west of Nepal. The Mahakali Integrated Development Treaty divides between India and Nepal the water and electricity to be provided by the dams.