Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday canceled inauguration of Bateshwarsthan Ganga Pump Canal Project after parts of canal caved in a few hours before its inauguration.
Speaking on the incident, Minister of Water Resources, Lallan Singh said, "The dam broke due to release of water in full capacity. The incident has not caused any damage to the newly constructed part of the project", Lallan Singh had said.
The wall of the Ganga pump canal project collapsed after it could not withstand the pressure of water released into it by five water pumps. The water entered into the residential areas of Kahalgaon and areas in NTPC township.
The project was first approved by Planning Commission in 1977 at an estimated cost of Rs 13.88 crore. According to the sources, the project was a joint initiative of the Bihar and Jharkhand states.
It is important to note that the government has spent 389.31 crore on Gateshwar Panth Canal Project, its ambitious irrigation project which aims at improving the poor land irrigation system that the state is coping with.
While officials in the water resources department claimed that an inquiry had been ordered in the matter and called the cave-in a "collective responsibility", the state's principal opposition party, Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) went on the offensive against the Kumar government.
"But officials should have checked the canal, too, before its scheduled inauguration", he said.
Alleging corruption, RJD workers burnt an effigy of Kumar in Bhagalpur.
"Through the collapse of the dam, the hollowness of Bihar government's modus operandi stands exposed", RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha told IANS. The dam has been reportedly made at a cost of Rs.389 crores. "Did any such tragedy happen when a project worth about Rs 400-cr could not be inaugurated due to breach in the canal a day before?" he asked.
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