Six people are dead and 20 are missing after the Tiware Dam, in Maharashtra’s coastal Konkan region, burst its walls because of incessant rains. Reports say the incident happened around 9.30pm.
Resident Deputy Collector Datta Bhadakawad said the dam was overflowing and it was a flood-like situation. Bhadakawad said about seven villages downstream were inundated and a dozen houses in Bhendewadi with 14 families were washed away. Police with help of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have moved the villages to safety and brought the situation under control.
But local public representatives allege laxity on the government’s part. According to the Economic Times, they had written to the administration about cracks in the walls of the dam, but no action was taken. Even the Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said that villages in the vicinity of the Tiware dam had complained of cracks in the dam.
The Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry into the incident and said in an official statement that action would be taken against the guilty expeditiously.
As per Dam Safety Organization, Nashik, Maharashtra has 35% of the country’s 5,202 dams, which is the highest among all states. But compared to other states, Maharashtra has safer records in regards to dam-related disasters.
The Central Water Commission, according to Down to Earth, said breaching due to flooding have resulted in dam failures. “Around 44% of total reported dam failure cases are a result of breaching like Tiware dam,” it said.
The seasonal monsoon rain has created havoc in Maharashtra with lives being lost in once incident or the other. Yesterday, the state had declared a public holiday in light of the torrential rains that has negatively affected the daily lives of the people.