Army Brought In, Water Being Drained Out

Dhar, Madhya Pradesh:

Teams of the Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Saturday reached Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, where a breach in the wall of an under-construction dam on Karam river has set off alarm bells.

Two helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) have been put on standby to deal with any emergency situation, officials said.

The government said water is being safely drained out of the reservoir to reduce pressure on its wall.

The opposition Congress raised a question mark over the quality of work of the dam and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government of indulging in corruption in the project worth Rs 304 crore.

The leakage of water from the dam was reported around 1 pm on Thursday. The reservoir of the dam was filling up with water for the first time this monsoon as it was under construction, officials said.

As a precautionary measure, people from 12 villages in Dhar district and six villages in Khargone district have been shifted to safer places, they have said, adding that these settlements were downstream of the dam.

State Water Resources Minister Tulsi Silawat issued a statement on Saturday, saying that an army team has reached Dhar to deal with an emergency and the NDRF has also got down to work.

He said the situation is under complete control and water from the dam is being drained out safely to reduce the pressure on the reservoir walls.

Mr Silawat is at the dam site to monitor the situation, the release said.

The dam is coming up at a cost of Rs 304 crore, of which Rs 174 crore have been spent so far, official sources said.

Around 200 army personnel, including engineers, and three teams of the NDRF from Bhopal as well as from Gujarat’s Vadodara Surat have reached Dhar. Each team has around 30 to 35 members. Besides them, eight groups of the State Disaster Emergency Response Force (SDERF) are at work in Dhar, they said.

Two IAF helicopters have been placed on standby, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Home Dr Rajesh Rajora said in a statement.

The 590-meter-long and 52-meter-high dam, a medium-level irrigation project, has 15 million cubic meters (MCM) of water in its reservoir, he said.

Apart from Mr Silawat, Industries Minister Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon is also at the dam site, officials said.

Talking to PTI, Congress MLA Dr Hiralal Alawa, who represents Manawar Assembly constituency in Dhar, alleged that a weak foundation of Rs 304 crore-worth dam was laid to make money and it has caused the water to leak.

“The feeble foundation could not withstand the pressure of water. The leak smacks of rampant corruption in dam construction which has put the lives of more than 26,000 people living downstream to danger,” he added.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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