Opposition parties in Maharashtra on Wednesday accused the state government of negligence after a breach in the Tiware dam in Ratnagiri district killed at least 11 people, PTI reported. The breach, caused by incessant rain on Tuesday, also caused a flood-like situation in seven downstream villages. At least 12 homes near the dam were washed away.
The Nationalist Congress Party’s state President Jayant Patil said the dam broke due to the negligence of the administration. “How many lives will it take for the government to wake up?” he asked. His colleague Dhananjay Munde also accused the government of negligence and asked it to provide immediate relief. “The incident again raises the issue of structural audit,” Munde said. “Wake up those in power!”
Munde, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, emphasised the need for structural audits of roads, bridges and buildings in the wake of wall collapses in Mumbai and other parts of the state.
Congress leader Sachin Sawant said the breach in the dam showed the lack of governance. “Absolutely no responsibility has been taken by the government,” he told Times Now. “I was expecting the concerned minister to come forth and tender his resignation. Somebody has to take the responsibility of this [incident].”
Earlier in the day, state Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said villagers in the vicinity of the Tiware dam had complained of cracks in the dam. “This was a small dam and the villagers had complained about leakages,” Hindustan Times quoted the minister as saying. “Following the complaints, the irrigation department officials told me that they carried out repair work also.”
Sadanand Chavan, the MLA of Chiplun where the dam is located, said the locals had raised complaints, following which he inspected the dam a few days ago and noticed a few cracks. “I informed about it to the administration but officials did not act or carried out shoddy job.”