Major breach in Jharkhand’s newly inaugurated Konar canal
Chief minister Raghubar Das inaugurated the canal, part of the Konar canal irrigation project, on Wednesday in a grand function held at Banasho in Vishnugarh block of Hazaribagh district.Updated: Aug 30, 2019 08:39 IST
Within hours of its inauguration, a major breach developed in the Konar main canal on Wednesday night, near Ghoshkodih village in Bagodar block of Giridih district, causing extensive damage to standing crops across half a dozen villages in the area.
The affected villages include Barwadih, Pratapur, Ghoskodih and Khataia of Bagodar.
Chief minister Raghubar Das inaugurated the canal, part of the Konar canal irrigation project, on Wednesday in a grand function held at Banasho in Vishnugarh block of Hazaribagh district.
Confirming the breach, VN Singh, executive engineer of Konar canal works division, Dumri, said, it’s a major breach in which the left bank of the main canal that was still ‘kaccha’ broke due to heavy water pressure.
Over 50 metres of the canal bank was washed away due to heavy pressure, after water was released in the canal after the inauguration.
“Senior officers of the department have been apprised of the incident including about the losses to the farmers,” Singh said.
Water resource department minister Ram Chandra Sahis ordered a probe into the breach on Thursday. “Strict action will be taken against those found guilty during the investigation,” he said.
On the directives of the minister, chief engineer Hemant Kumar set up a three-member committee, which was asked to submit its report within 24 hours.
According to the available report, around 800 cusecs of water was released in Bagodar branch canal after the inauguration of the tunnel and the main canal by the chief minister. The canal was full with rain water as well as water released during the tests that took place prior to the inauguration.
“It probably broke due to heavy pressure of running water,” Singh told media persons.
In effect, there has been heavy loss of standing crops including paddy, maize and millet that was sown by the farmers on the affected villages.
Nagendar Mahto, BJP MLA from Bagodar, who inspected the incident spot said, the chief engineer of the department as well as chief minister Raghbuar Das would be apprised of the damages and asked to get it repaired at the earliest.
“I would also request to get the crop damages assessed and adequate compensation be given to farmers who have lost their standing crop,” Mahto said.
Former Bagodar MLA and CPI (ML) leader Binod Singh alleged the hurry by the ruling dispensation to get the ‘half-baked project’ inaugurated with an eye on the upcoming assembly elections by is the main reason of the incident.
“It’s unfortunate that the CM was boasting during the inaugural function that he realised the 42-year-old dream true by inaugurating the canal,” said Singh.
Foundation for the project was laid by the united Bihar government in 1977 by then Bihar governor Jagarnath Kaushal. The project cost of the multi-purpose irrigation scheme has reached Rs 2300 crore, from the initial Rs 11.43 crore when it was cleared.
The project is aimed to irrigate 62,790 hectares of agricultural land in Bishnugarh block of Hazaribag, Bagodar and Dumri block of Giridih and Nawadih block of Bokaro district.
First Published: Aug 30, 2019 02:47 IST