Mutha canal breach: Rs 3 crore in immediate relief for flood-affected; probe begins
The affected people argued with the minister and the interaction ended with demands for compensation.Updated: Sep 29, 2018 15:31 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
Minister of state for irrigation, Girish Mahajan, on Friday, announced a Rs 3-crore immediate-relief package for those affected by the flooding caused by the breach of the Mutha right bank canal in the Dandekar bridge area on Thursday morning.
On Friday, Mahajan appointed a committee to conduct an inquiry into the breach of the Mutha right bank canal in the Dandekar bridge area on Thursday morning.
Mahajan, who visited the site on Friday afternoon accompanied by irrigation department and Pune municipal corporation (PMC) officials, met residents of Janata Vasahat, the low-income residential area that was flooded after the breach. The affected people argued with the minister and the interaction ended with demands for compensation.
Speaking with the media later, Mahajan said the committee appointed is a technical one that will check the reasons for the canal breach. “After the report, the department will take necessary action against those guilty,” Mahajan said.
Mahajan added that repair work on the canal is not possible till water supply to and from the canal is completely stopped. “Water pipelines need to be completely closed for this and the irrigation department is exploring this option,” he said.
Mahajan said that the department is also considering construction of a tunnel to carry water from the Khadakvasla dam to rural areas, but the cost for this is high. “This will help stop leakages, as well as transport losses, but it will require more funds,” he said.
Water for Hadapsar, Solapur road, Ahmednagar road unlikely today
With the irrigation department requiring more than a day for immediate canal repairs, water supply to some parts of the city will continue to reman adversely affected on Saturday. PMC’s water department chief V J Kulkarni said that water supply to Hadapsar, Solapur road and the Ahmednagar road area will be most-affected today.
Khadakwasla dam’s division’s executive engineer Pandurang Shelar said, “Irrigation department started canal repairs immediately after the canal was run dry. The administration were working the whole of Friday and this work will be completed by Saturday.”
Shelar said that once the work is complete, the irrigation department will start releasing water from the Khadakwasla dam into the canal at low pressure.
Meanwhile, the revenue department has started the panchnama work and the district collector will submit the report to the state government.
Rats, crabs, bandicoots
Irrigation minister Girish Mahajan said that some members of the irrigation department have blamed the canal breach on a “large number of rats, crabs and bandicoots (big rats)”. This comment went viral by Friday drawing criticism from opposition parties. PMC administrative sources, who have chosen to remain anonymous at this point in time, have blamed for poor maintenance of the canal for accident.
First Published: Sep 29, 2018 14:31 IST