Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Water being drained out after breach in MP dam wall, need not worry: Chouhan

In the wake of a dam wall breach in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said there was no need to worry and efforts were on to drain out water from the reservoir.
Earlier in the day, officials said a channel was dug up to drain out water from the under-construction dam on the Karam river after a breach in a wall of the reservoir.
Water was being released safely through the channel since 3 am on Sunday, which reduced the threat of the dam bursting due to water pressure and causing a disaster downstream, they said.
Later, the CM in a statement said the chief engineer, commissioner, senior police officials and collector were on the field.
“There is no need to worry. But we won’t sit quiet till the entire water from the reservoir is drained out. Efforts are on to empty the dam,” he said.
Chouhan also said the need of the hour was for political parties to refrain from levelling allegations and rather focus on public safety.
His statement has come after the opposition Congress alleged corruption in the construction of the Rs 304 crore dam.
Talking to PTI, Congress MLA from Manawar in Dhar Dr Hiralal Alawa claimed the dam’s weak foundation had caused the water leakage.
“The weak foundation couldn’t withstand the pressure of water. The leakage smacks of rampant corruption in dam construction. This has put the lives of more than 26,000 people living downstream in danger,” Alawa said.
According to sources, Rs 174 crore has so far been spent on the dam, the construction of which began in 2018.
Meanwhile, officials said a pause in the rains in the area since Friday was also helping, or else the situation would have got more complicated with continuous accumulation of water in the reservoir.
The leak in the dam, located some 35 kilometres from the district headquarters, was reported on Thursday, after which an alert was sounded as 18 villages downstream, including 12 in Dhar and six in Khargone, were in danger of getting inundated, they said.
Several people from the 18 villages have already been shifted to safer places, they added.
A government release said the CM had monitored the situation from his office for 16 hours, returned home at 3 am on Sunday and was back at 11 am to take stock of the work underway on the ground.
Chouhan had also informed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah about the water leak from dam, the CM’s office today.
Teams from the Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies were at work and prepared to deal with any emergency situation. Two helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were also on standby, officials said.
State Water Resources Minister Tulsi Silawat and Industries Minister Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon had gone to the dam site to take stock of the situation, they said.
Dhar Collector Pankaj Jain had on Thursday said the dam was filled with water for the first time (before the leakage happened).

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