Hours Ahead of Inauguration by CM Nitish, Bihar Dam Cracks Open

Nitish Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate the canal scheme, aimed at providing irrigation to Bihar and Jharkhand.

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India
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CM Nitish Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate the Ganga pump canal scheme, aimed at providing irrigation facilities in the state, and neighbouring Jharkhand.
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Only a few hours ahead of its inauguration by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a portion of a dam in Bhagalpur came crashing down on 19 September night, inundating areas of the township.

Kumar was scheduled to inaugurate the Ganga pump canal scheme, aimed at providing irrigation facilities in the state and neighbouring Jharkhand.

The wall of the canal collapsed when water from the Ganga forcefully hit it after the pump was switched on for trial run at Bateshwarsthan in Bhagalpur district.

The water gushed into Kahalgaon and inundated areas in the NTPC township, as well as some civil areas, including the residence of Kahalgaon Civil Judge and Sub-Judge.

Hours Ahead of Inauguration by CM Nitish, Bihar Dam Cracks Open
(Photo: PTI)

Principal Secretary of the Water Resources Department, Arun Kumar Singh, along with Bhagalpur District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police were on the spot to supervise measures for draining out water from the NTPC township and some civil areas of Kahalgaon, around three kilometres from the project site.

"Sand bags are being put to check the flow of water," Arun Singh told reporters.

The project is a joint venture between Bihar and Jharkhand. Under it, 18,620 hectares of land in Bhagalpur would get irrigation facility, while 4,038 hectares in Godda district of Jharkhand would be irrigated, a government brochure of the project said.

The Rs 389.31-crore project has a total irrigation capacity of 27,603 hectares out of which 22,816 is in Bihar and 4,887 hectares in Jharkhand.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) workers burnt an effigy of Kumar and Lallan in Bhagalpur, alleging corruption in construction of the project.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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