NTPC denies flaw in design of underpass being blamed for Bhagalpur canal breach
Group general manager of NTPC’s Kahalgaon unit, Rakesh Samuel, says the underpass was constructed after procuring a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government.india Updated: Sep 21, 2017 17:30 IST
The Kahalgaon unit of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has denied any technical flaw in the design of the underpass that is being blamed for the breach in an irrigation canal ahead of its inauguration in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district.
Nearly 20 feet of the Bateswar Ganga Pump Nahar Yojana (BGPNY) canal wall had caved in at Bateswarsthan in Kahalgoan sub-division, 273 km east of Patna, on Tuesday night, hours before chief minister Nitish Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate it.
Soon after the incident, which caused major embarrassment to the state government, water resources department (WRD) principal secretary Arun Kumar Singh blamed “faulty construction” of the NTPC underpass beneath the canal for the breach in the structure.
“While constructing the underpass for traffic purposes, the requirement of the canal was not taken care of,” he had said.
On Thursday, group general manager of NTPC’s Kahalgaon unit, Rakesh Samuel, said the underpass was constructed after procuring a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government.
“The NOC papers, besides other documents showing that there was no flaw in the design of the underpass, have been located,” Samuel said.
Refuting the WRD principal secretary’ charge, Samuel said the underpass had a wing and returning walls as required. He said the NTPC management was ready to extend cooperation in rectifying the problems in the canal.
Another NTPC executive, not wishing to be identified, said the design of the underpass, being used for accessing the NTPC township, was prepared by a consultant. “The NTPC has no expertise in building underpass and the construction work was entrusted to an agency after floating tender,” he said.
With screening at different levels, it was unlikely that there would have been any scope for flaw in the design,” he said. Claiming that the underpass was constructed before the canal, he said had there been any design-related problem it should have been brought to notice of NTPC.
“The local administration was well aware of leakage in the canal wall. Seepage of water, accumulated in the unused canal due to rain, would often lead to waterlogging in the underpass,” he said, adding that in such situations NTPC had assisted the administration in pumping out water from the underpass. .