Canal breach floods various parts of city

ST Correspondent
Friday, 28 September 2018

P B Shelar, Executive Engineer of Khadakwasla irrigation department  said, “We have immediately stopped the water flow from the Khadakwasla dam. We are working on a war footing to stop the water flow from the canal.”

Pune: Many parts of Sinhagad Road and areas located near Sane Guruji School to Dattawadi got inundated after a breach in the wall of Mutha right canal on Thursday afternoon. According to the civic body, more than 200 dwellings in the slums near Dandekar Bridge suffered severe damages, as dwellers complained that their belongings were washed away due to heavy water flow. The incident was reported at 10.40 am.  

However, no human casualties were reported. The irrigation department has launched the repairing work of the canal on a war footing and has shut water supply from Khadakwasla dams to canal. The canal provides water to eastern parts of the city i.e. Yerawada, Hadapsar, Vishrantwadi, Wadgaon Sheri, Chandan Nagar, Viman Nagar and Koregaon Park. 

Following the breach, water was gushing out of the canal at around 1,200 cusecs (cubic per second) for nearly two hours, causing inundation in the areas around Dandekar Bridge. According to locals, the breach was partially repaired after noon and the irrigation department succeeded in nearly arresting the water flow at around 4 pm. 

Civic body officials claimed that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has made arrangements for more than 1,500 people in three PMC-run schools.

Later in the evening, more than 500 people were lodged at the  shelter. The civic body has made arrangements for food and other services to people.

Mutha right bank canal is a 202 kilometre-long contour canal serving to gross command area of about 97,100 hectares for irrigation purpose.  The PMC lifts water from the canal near Pune Cantonment area and supplies  to eastern parts of the city. The breach occurred at 13 kilometres from the Khadakwasla dam. Sources from the PMC claimed that the cause of breach may have been rodents burrowing holes in the foundation of the canal’s wall. However, the locals complained that the tragedy was due to indiscriminate digging for laying underground cables. 

P B Shelar, Executive Engineer of Khadakwasla irrigation department  said, “We have immediately stopped the water flow from the Khadakwasla dam. We are working on a war footing to stop the water flow from the canal.”

Ganesh Sonune, head of Disaster management cell of corporation 
said, “Till evening, we have identified more than 200 slum dwellings which have been washed away completely. The work is going on. We cannot ascertain the exact figure of property damage right now.” 

Roads flooded with vehicles 
After the breach, water forcefully gushed out on Sinhagad Road which washed away several parked vehicles on the roads. As a precautionary measure, traffic police department closed several roads including Shastri Road, Sinhagad Road and roads in Swargate area. This resulted in huge traffic jams in many parts of the city. Roads like Tilak Road and other arterial roads experienced traffic jams.  

People were stuck in the traffic for more than one hour. As many traffic signals were also not working due to power supply being cut by MSEDCL (Maharashtra State Electricity Development Corporation Limited), traffic in the city was regularised only after 2 pm.

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