Excessive rains pounded Madhya Pradesh this season, exposing corruption and the state’s poor planning especially in Vindhya and Bundelkhand regions.
The state recorded 40% of excess rainfall this season, the highest in the country, which claimed the lives of 101 people and affected 3.5 lakh in floods.
MP Housing Board’s three-storey shopping-cum-residential complex, built only a couple of years ago at Maihar, was reduced to rubble on August 20 while 40-year-old Babloo Martin died saving the life of a 12-year-old girl who would have been trapped in the debris had it not been for him.
It was after the report of the sub-divisional magistrate concerned that an FIR was lodged by the police on August 22 against three contractors and five engineers of the housing board on the charges of being allegedly involved in culpable homicide.
In Rewa, want of proper planning in road construction was said to be one of the major factors behind flood water getting accumulated and creating havoc in a number of villages and in the city.
New roads like the by-pass road were constructed on a raised platform but there was no proper outlet for flood waters, hence the catastrophe.
Locals alleged corruption in construction of roads and culverts in Rewa which witnessed flash floods on such a huge scale after two decades.
Roads including Keoti-Katra, Rewa-Churhat and Rewa-Govindgarh — constructed about 10 years back — were also damaged.
Gajendra Singh, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist in Rewa, said, “Such extensive damage to the roads was not possible without corruption. Poor planning was definitely one of the major factors behind the floods. There should be a high-level inquiry into this and the guilty should be punished.”
Ex-leader of opposition in the state assembly Ajay Singh, said, “When roads in the state capital are in such a bad condition, the situation in Rewa can be gauged easily. Corruption is the reason behind bad quality of roads in Rewa which were damaged.”
Executive engineer of public works department Harshit Thakur, however, denied that there was any kind of corruption in the construction of roads.
The story in Bundelkhand is no different. At least five dams were damaged in Panna during the floods while dams on water reservoirs were damaged in Chhatarpur and Tikamgarh too.
Official sources said it was due to the use of sub-standard materials in the construction of dams that they could not bear the impact of the flood waters.
The state government ordered an inquiry into the damage.
“There was a massive corruption in the construction of dams which merits a high-level inquiry. The contractors and engineers thought their corruption will not be exposed because drought-prone Bundelkhand will not witness floods,” said Sanjay Nagaich, a Bharatiya Janata Party leader.