The Uttar Pradesh government said on Monday that 11 new flood prevention projects worth Rs 53.64 crore could not be completed on the Indo-Nepal border as the neighbouring country did not provide permission for their implementation in its geographical area due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Hindu reported on Tuesday. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath made the complaint to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a video conference meeting on Monday.

As many as 582 villages in at least 19 districts of Uttar Pradesh remain affected by floods, with 303 of them marooned, despite below-normal rainfall this year, State Relief Commissioner Sanjay Goyal said. Most of the flood-affected districts are in the eastern part of the state. Till Monday, 1.04 lakh families (5.75 lakh individuals), 76,623 animals and 38, 248 hectares of farm land have been affected by the floods. Three dams were damaged but have been repaired.

On Monday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar too had told Modi that Nepal had not been cooperating in flood relief. “North Bihar gets ravaged by floods because of heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of Nepal,” Kumar told Modi during the prime minister’s meeting with chief ministers of flood-affected states. “In accordance with an agreement between India and Nepal, the water resources department of Bihar conducts the flood management work in the bordering areas. But we have not been receiving full cooperation from Nepal in the past few years.” Rivers originating in Nepal have inundated several areas in Bihar.

Diplomatic relations between India and Nepal have worsened over the past few months, with both countries claiming that the areas of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas are part of their territory. Nepal maintains that India has claimed the disputed region by building a link road despite repeated objections. India, on the other hand, has said that the road falls within its territory.

In June, the Nepal Parliament approved a bill demarcating the Lipulekh mountain pass, Kalapani and Limpiadora as its territory. Earlier this month, Oli claimed that the Indian government and his political rivals were plotting to oust him from power.