Rs 389 Crore Bihar dam Collapses Before Inauguration By Nitish Kumar
A day before Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was to inaugurate a Ganga pump canal project in Bhagalpur on Wednesday, the embankment of the canal could not withstand the pressure of water released into it by five motor pumps and came crashing down. The incident has forced cancellation of the Chief Minister’s programme. While the water resources department has ordered a probe into the “alleged poor quality of embankment work”, the episode has left the state government red-faced prompting criticism by the opposition RJD.
The 60-km Bateshwar Sthan pump canal project, originating from Ganga at Kahalgaon, is meant to irrigate 21,700 hectare in Bihar and 4,000 hectare in Jharkhand.
The Rs 389 crore project, which was started in 1977 with a cost of Rs 13.88 cr, had been a story of neglect by successive governments. The project cost was revised several times and finally it was ready with the government deciding to install 12 high-capacity water pumps. If started simultaneously, these 12 pumps can release 260 cusecs of water per second into the canal.
An official involved in the project said: “We started five pumps on Tuesday afternoon to fill the canal as the chief minister was to open it on Wednesday. But one side of embankment towards NTPC colony could not take pressure of sudden water flow into the canal and breached causing water logging in adjoining areas”. When asked who was responsible for poor quality embankment work, he said, “The water resources department has ordered an inquiry into the matter. It is a collective responsibility.”
Blaming the collapse of the on graft, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, in a tweet late last evening, said: “Rs 389.31 crore dam has collapsed ahead of inauguration. The CM was to inaugurate the dam with much pomp and show. Yet another dam collapses due of corruption.
(SOURCE: The Indian Express)