A portion of the Gateshwar Panth Canal Project in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district collapsed during a trial run on Tuesday, a day before Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate it, ANI reported. The Bihar government cancelled the inauguration citing “technical reasons”.

The wall of the canal in Kahalgaon broke from the force of the water from the Ganga after the pump was switched on for a trial run, News18 reported.

The Rs 389-crore dam flooded nearby areas, including the NTPC township. The homes of the civil judge and sub-judge of Kahalgaon were also inundated. Several incidents of water logging were reported and water had entered many homes in low-lying areas.


“The dam broke due to the release of water in full capacity,” Bihar Water Resources Minister Lallan Singh told ANI. “The incident has not caused any damage to the newly-constructed part of the project.”

Arun Kumar Singh, the principal secretary of the Bihar Water Resources Department, the Bhagalpur district magistrate and the superintendent of police are supervising efforts to control the flooding. “Sandbags are being used to check the flow of water,” Arun Kumar Singh said.

Meanwhile, workers of the Rashtriya Janata Dal protested against Lallan Singh and Arun Kumar Singh, alleging corruption, News18 reported.

This project covers 18,620 hectares in Bhagalpur and 22,658 hectares in Godda district. It will also benefit Jharkhand.