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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

dam (Gateshwar Panth Canal Project) collapses in Bihar

A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water or underground streams. Reservoirs created by dams contain flood waters and store water for usage for humans for irrigation,  consumption, industrial use, aquaculture, and navigability.

a dam (illustrative photo from

A destructive flash flood caused when a dam under construction unexpectedly burst open sent people in its wake running for their lives in the Laos province of Xieng Khouang.  Xaisomboun  is a mountainous province located in Central Laos, between Vientiane Province and Xiangkhouang Province. Video of the Sept. 11 disaster  now circulating in the net shows the raging waters growing more widespread as workers run for higher ground while some unsuccessfully attempt to drive vehicles out of harm's way.  After several people manage to escape on foot, two people are seen running towards their trucks so they can drive away.

In the early years of the Second World War, aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis is struggling to develop a means of attacking Germany's dams in the hope of crippling German heavy industry. Working for the Ministry of Aircraft Production, as well as doing his own job at Vickers, he works feverishly to make practical his theory of a bouncing bomb which would skip over the water to avoid protective torpedo nets. When it came into contact with the dam, it would sink before exploding, making it much more destructive. Wallis calculates that the aircraft will have to fly extremely low (150 feet (46 m)) to enable the bombs to skip over the water correctly, but when he takes his conclusions to the Ministry, he is told that lack of production capacity means they cannot go ahead with his proposals. Angry and frustrated, Wallis secures an interview with Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris, the head of RAF Bomber Command, who at first is reluctant to take the idea seriously. Eventually, however, he is convinced and takes the idea to the Prime Minister, who authorises the project.   …. ..       

..The Dam Busters (1955) is a British Second World War war film starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd.  The film was based on the books The Dam Busters (1951) by Paul Brickhill and Enemy Coast Ahead (1946) by Guy Gibson. A remake of this hit movie has been in development since 2008, but is  yet to be produced as of 2017.

Heard of ‘Kahalgaon’, a city in   Bhagalpur district in the state of Bihar.  It is located close to the Vikramashila, that was once a famous centre of Buddhist learning across the world, along with Nalanda during the Pala dynasty.  This place is in news for wrong reasons !!

On occasion of his 67th  birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi  inaugurated the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river.  The ‘engineering miracle’ is expected to provide power, drinking water, and irrigation to 9,000 villages in three states - Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.  The project which has been the subject of much controversy for decades now is one of the largest dams in the world. Before making any comments ~ it is a project inaugurated by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961.   The prime minister also struck the right chords by claiming that several quarters, including the World Bank, had stood against the project but yet the government went ahead to complete it. Modi also said that the temples of the state came forward with funds to ensure that the world's second largest concrete dam saw the daylight.  Sri Narendra  Modiji  presented a picture perfect*.   

Fast forward to September 19, a portion of a dam under the ambitious Gateshwar Panth Canal Project in Kahalgaon near Bhagalpur in Bihar collapsed on the eve of its inauguration by the state's chief minister, Nitish Kumar. The dam built at an estimated cost of Rs 389.31 crore is part of the ambitious Gateshwar Panth Canal Project which was planned to improve the poor land irrigation system in the region.

Several low-lying areas were flooded as water from the collapsed dam rushed into residential areas in Kahalgaon. 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," State’s Minister of Water Resources, Lallan Singh said. CM Nitish Kumar, who was supposed to inaugurate the project today, had to cancel his visit.

The wall of the dam broke up after being forcefully hit by the Ganga river waters when the pump was switched on for a trial run on Tuesday at Bateshwarsthan in Bhagalpur district. The water gushed into Kahalgaon and inundated areas in NTPC township as well some civil areas including the residence of the Kahalgaon civil judge and the sub-judge.  Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav  was quick to blame  rampant corruption under CM Nitish Kumar for the fiasco.

The canal is a joint project of Bihar and Jharkhand, under which 18,620 hectares of land in Bhagalpur would get irrigation facility while 4038 hectares of areas in Godda district of Jharkhand would be irrigated, a government brochure on the project said. The Rs 389.31 crore project has a total irrigation capacity of 27603 hectares out of which 22816 is in Bihar and 4887 hectares in Jharkhand. The Planning Commission had originally approved the project in 1977 at an estimated cost of Rs 13.88 crore.

Sad state of affairs indeed !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

20th Sept. 2017.

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