Mumbai: In an attempt to defend their side, Minister Tanaji Sawant has held crabs responsible for the tragic Tivre Dam incident. The Water Conservation Minister said that there were no breaches in the dam for the past 15 years since it was built.
The dam was built in 2004, and since then there were no breaches. However, in recent years there was a huge problem of crabs in that dam. The crabs gnawed at the walls of the dam, causing the dam to burst and not because of the poor quality construction.
The minister also hinted that the incident could also be a fallout of copious rains in the dam’s catchment area. Sawant said that in just eight hours, 192 mm rainfall was recorded in the catchment area of the damage. The water level of the dam increased by eight metres in eight hours. But it will eventually be discussed in the committee, the minister added.
“The wall was weakened by a large number crabs and after it was pointed out to the government officials, some remedial measures were taken up,” he said.
“The SIT appointed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will come up with its findings soon and we will come to know what exactly went wrong,” he said.
The dam, located in Chiplun tehsil, breached late Tuesday night following torrential rains in the coastal Konkan region.
“It was a tragedy, but I think you cannot change your fate. Whatever is going to happen, will happen. It was a kind of natural calamity,” he said.
When asked about whether the repair works of the dam was shoddy, he said, “We realised it only when water started accumulating in the dam.”
Last year, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan had stirred up a controversy after he attributed a major breach in the right wall of the Mutha canal in Pune, which had inundated parts of the city, to rats, other rodents and crabs.
“The canal wall caved in as rats, rodents and crabs had been gnawing away at it, burrowing holes in the walls foundation,” he had said.
Bureau News, Kokan now, Mumbai.