Vacate Houses, 18 Madhya Pradesh Villages Told Amid Dam Seepage Concerns

The Rs 304.4 crore dam project has been under construction for the last four years for addressing irrigation needs of 52 villages.

Vacate Houses, 18 Madhya Pradesh Villages Told Amid Dam Seepage Concerns

An alert has been sounded in 11 villages.

Bhopal:

Authorities in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh and have directed people residing in 18 villages to vacate their houses and move to safety after it was found that the seepage of water from an under-construction dam has increased.

The Rs 304.4 crore dam project has been under construction for the last four years for addressing irrigation needs of 52 villages.

An alert has been sounded in 11 villages.

State's Water Resources Minister Tulsi Silawat is at the dam site in Dhar. His fellow minister and local MLA Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon is already camping at the spot with senior district administration and police officials.

"Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is keeping a tab on all developments continuously. A committee has been constituted to probe how the seepage happened in the under construction dam in its first spell of heavy rain only. The enquiry committee will submit its report in three days,"said Mr Silawat. 

According to Dr Pawan Sharma, the Indore divisional commissioner, "The seepage started on Thursday causing erosion of a part of the black soil on one side of the dam. Efforts are underway for controlled release of water to reduce pressure on the dam. First rains are always tricky and actually come as the real test for any dam. Right now our priority is rescue measures, as part of which 18 villages (six in Khargone district and 12 in Dhar district) have been vacated and efforts have been started for controlled release of water from the dam."

Congress state president Kamal Nath has alleged that seepage and cracks in the under construction dam expose rampant corruption in such projects in the state.

"Right since the work on this project started, the local residents and public representatives had been complaining about corruption and faulty construction, but all those complaints were ignored and the result is that leakage has happened in the dam in the first spell of heavy rains only," said Mr Nath.

Construction of the dam began four years back. Importantly, a Congress government led by Kamal Nath was in power in the state between December 2018 and March 2020.

The length of the said dam is 590 meters and the height is 52 meters and at present 15 MCM water is stored in the said dam.

The rescue work is being carried out by a team of the National Disaster Response Force or the NDRF and the state disaster response force. They are assisted by Indore and neighboring police stations along with the staff of Home Guard and Revenue Department.

Two helicopters of the Air Force and one from the Army have been placed on standby.

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