Bihar: Rs 389 cr dam collapses before inauguration

Frederick Owens
September 21, 2017

Earlier in the day nearly all leading newspapers in the state had carried huge advertisements announcing the proposed inauguration of the project by Kumar and the state's water resources and irrigation minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh "Lallan". Himself charged with a number of corruption cases, Yadav in his tweet said that another dam was a sacrifice to corruption.

Almost 20 feet of the canal's wall collapsed as it could not withstand the force of the water from the River Ganga that came gushing into it after five pumps were switched on for trial run at Bateshwar Sthan in the Bhagalpur district. Neglected by successive state governments, as a result of which its construction cost rose from the initial estimate of Rs 13.88 crore to Rs 389 crore, the dam is equipped with 12 high-capacity water pumps which if started simultaneously, can release 260 cusecs of water per second into the canal.

"If rats had breached dams causing floods, it were probably crocodiles that caused damage to the BGPNY canal wall", Prasad said taking a potshot at the state government.

It is reported that the dam was built in order that the water can be collected in a canal to facilitate the irrigating of crops. The project has a total irrigation capacity of 27,603 hectares, of which 22,816 hectares is in Bihar and 4,887 hectares in Jharkhand.

He said stringent action would be taken against officials found guilty and the project would be inaugurated "after two months" during which the deficiencies would be addressed.

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"But officials should have checked the canal, too, before its scheduled inauguration", he said.

"It is a glaring example of corruption under the Nitish Kumar government", RJD President Lalu Prasad alleged in Patna.

The project began in 1996-97, though the planning commission had approved of the project back in 1977 and was finally completed to be inaugurated by the Bihar CM today, the change in the events was forced.

Rebel JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav also attacked the government over the incident. The dam has been reportedly made at a cost of Rs.389 crores.

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