A dam in Ratnagiri district’s Tivare village, 250 km from Pune, broken up on Tuesday night
RATNAGIRI,MAHARASHTRA: Fourteen people, many of them from an extended family, were killed when a dam inRatnagiridistrict’s Tivare village, 250 km from Pune, breached late on Tuesday night, resulting in a torrent washing away many houses. Nine people were still missing when rescue operations were stopped for the night on Wednesday.
A massive 100-meter portion of the 308-meter-long dam washed away, taking into its sweep nine of the 13 houses in the village and two bridges, officials said.
Villagers told TOI that the tragedy was waiting to happen, claiming they had been complaining to the authorities for at least two years about major leakages from the dam, which was built in 2014.
On Wednesday, relatives of the victims refused to take their bodies till their complaints. However, they relented after state water resources minister Girish Mahajan met them and assured that a proper inquiry would be conducted in their allegations.
Meanwhile, Mumbai received light showers on Wednesday – a relief after days of heavy rain. Firemen recovered four more bodies from the two wall collapsed sites in Malad, taking the death toll in Tuesday’s tragedy to 26
‘We’ve been complaining of damages for last 2 yrs’
Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan said that every family will be given Rs 5 lakh as ex gratia. “We will build temporary homes for them immediately and later permanent structures. One person from every family in the village has given a government job, “he said.
Shrikant Bhoite, gram sevak of Tiware village, said, “For the last two years, our village has been communicating with the irrigation department about the leakages. In May this year, two or three trucks dumped mud at the site We were told that the problem was solved. “
Signs of an impending tragedy began on Tuesday when the copious amounts of muddy water started gushing out of the damn dam, which has a cement wall. Nagesh Shinde, the police “patil” (police informer) of the village, said, “He has sent out an alert to police and other authorities in the morning itself.” By 5pm, the dam was filled to capacity – 0.08 thousand million cubic feet of water. At 8.30pm, some villagers said the wall of the dam had developed a breach.
Tukaram Chavan’s entire family – his wife, son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren – were washed away Rescue teams are searching for them
“There is no sign of my family My life has ended, “Tukaram, who survived, said. Sandeep Pawar, whose niece was married to Tukaram’s son, had difficulty locating the family home “There is no sign of the home,” he told TOI.
Two teams of theNational Disaster Response Forceare engaged in rescue operations.
On Wednesday, some villages downstream did not even have drinking water as well. Even the rescue teams were getting drinking water from a town 30 km away.
The state government has formed five teams to ensure there is no outbreak of disease in these villages.