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Dam ‘cracks ignored’, breach kills 23

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on July 06, 2019 with No Comments

Twenty-three people are feared dead after a dam in Maharashtra’s coastal Konkan region, in which cracks had been reported months ago but not repaired, breached following heavy rain and flooded villages downstream, officials said on Thursday.

The bodies of 11 people have been recovered so far, a police officer said. The total toll would be around 23, he added.

The Tiware dam at Chiplun taluka in Ratnagiri district has a storage capacity of 20 lakh cubic metres. It developed a breach late on Tuesday night, a district official said. The breach caused a flood-like situation in seven downstream villages, with 12 houses being swept away.

“So far, 11 bodies have been recovered,” said additional superintendent of police, Ratnagiri, Vishal Gaikwad. The police have moved many villagers to safety, he added.

Relatives of the victims said they had asked the district administration to repair the dam as they had spotted cracks in November last year. They alleged that officials of the tehsils in Chiplun and Dapoli had cited jurisdiction to deflect their plea.

Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan said villagers in the area had complained of cracks in the dam. “The dam was built 14 years ago. The state government will find out at which level there was negligence and necessary action will be taken,” he said.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry. “The reason for the breach will be probed and action taken against the guilty expeditiously,” he said.

 

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