Officials did not act on complaints of cracks in Tiware dam: Locals, MLA in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Officials did not act on complaints of cracks in Tiware dam: Locals, MLA in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri

Hindustan Times, Chiplun/Pune | ByShrinivas Deshpande
Jul 05, 2019 06:22 PM IST

The Tiware dam in Chiplun taluka in the Konkan region of the state burst on Tuesday night amid heavy monsoon rains. As a large portion of the dam gave in, water gushed out drowning around seven to eight houses and four to five families.

Officials of the irrigation department in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district ignored warnings about cracks in the Tiware dam, which burst washing away homes and killing at least nine people, residents and a local legislator said on Wednesday.

Locals said they noticed the cracks in Tiware dam around six months ago and that they informed the irrigation department’s officials about them.(HT Photo)
Locals said they noticed the cracks in Tiware dam around six months ago and that they informed the irrigation department’s officials about them.(HT Photo)

The Tiware dam in Chiplun taluka in the Konkan region of the state burst on Tuesday night amid heavy monsoon rains. As a large portion of the dam gave in, water gushed out drowning around seven to eight houses and four to five families. Residents from seven villages have been affected by the breach.

Two teams of National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF), which is involved in rescue and search operations have recovered nine bodies of seven men and two women so far. At least 15 people are still missing as floodwater entered some hamlets after the breach.

“After complaints from the villagers, I had inspected the dam a few days ago and noticed there were cracks. I informed about it to the administration but officials did not act or carried out shoddy job,” Chiplun MLA Sadanand Chavan said.

Locals said they noticed the cracks around six months ago and that they informed the irrigation department’s officials about them.

“However, there was a confusion among irrigation department officials over under whose jurisdiction the dam comes, leading to no action,” said Abhijit Chavan, who lost his brother and other family members in the dam breach.

Maharashtra water resource minister Girish Mahajan accepted that locals did complain about the cracks in the dam, built around 14 years ago.

“This was a small dam and the villagers had complained about leakages. Following the complaints, the irrigation department officials told me that they carried out repair work also,” said Mahajan.

Mahajan also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh each to the family of those who died.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has announced a probe into the incident. “There will be a thorough probe and the guilty would be punished,” the chief minister said.

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