KOSI RIVER (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 - Geography)

News-CRUX-10     12th August 2023        

Context: A flood-like situation in low-lying areas of north Bihar districts has forced hundreds of families to flee in search of safer locations. 

  • With major rivers and their tributaries in spate, thousands are in fear of floodwater entering their houses.
  • While the Koshi, Gandak, Bagmati, Mahananda, Ganga and Adhwara are flowing above the danger mark at several places, they are close to the safe limits in some other regions.
  • In the Himalayan reaches, the course of these rivers is highly tortuous, but over the plains they display a strong meandering tendency and shift their courses frequently.

Kosi River

  • River Kosi, also known as the ‘sorrow of Bihar’, has been notorious for frequently changing its course.
  • The Kosi brings huge quantity of sediments from its upper reaches and deposits it in the plains.
  • The course gets blocked, and consequently, the river changes its course.
  • The Kosi is a trans-boundary river which flows through Tibet, Nepal and India.
  • It has its source in Tibet that includes the world's highest upland, it then drains a large part of Nepal before emerging onto the Gangetic plains.
  • Its three major tributaries, the Sun Kosi, Arun and Tamur meet at one point just upstream of a 10 km gorge cut through the Himalayan foothills.
  • The river crosses into northern Bihar, India where it branches into distributaries before joining the Ganges near Kursela in Katihar district.
  • The Kosi carries the maximum amount of silt and sand after the Brahmaputra in India.
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