A portion of the Gateshwar Panth Canal Project in Bihar’s Bhagalpur district collapsed a day before Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate it.
The Bihar government canceled the inauguration citing “technical reasons”.
The Rs 389-crore dam flooded nearby areas, including the NTPC township. Water entered many homes in low-lying areas and incidents of waterlogging were reported by residents.
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.
“The dam broke due to the release of water in full capacity,” Bihar Water Resources Minister Lallan Singh said. “The incident has not caused any damage to the newly-constructed part of the project.”. However, many alleged corruption in the matter.
This project hopes to irrigate 18,620 hectares in Bhagalpur and 22,658 hectares in Godda district. It is supposed to benefit Jharkhand as well as Bihar.
Initially, the dam was allotted a budget of ₹13.88 crore but in January 1977, the Planning Commission had approved the scheme at a cost of ₹13.88 crore. Since then, the dam has taken a long time to complete, about thirty years.
Arun Kumar Singh, 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.