Pune: Water Resources department officials had to close 11 doors of Mula dam to halt the water discharge from the dam to rescue a Dhanraj Barde (20), a resident of Nandgaon who was trapped while sitting on the retention wall just down the doors when the water discharge began. The incident took place near Rahuri in Ahmednagar district on Tuesday morning.
The gates of the dam began to open at 9 am on Tuesday morning. Dhanraj Barde, who came as a tourist at the place, climbed the wall near the stationary water directly under the door. When the first three doors of the dam were opened, Dhanraj was stunned. He just sat there. All 11 doors were open till 9.30 am. The water began to flow rapidly towards the Mula river basin. Dhanraj was surrounded on all sides by water and got stuck.
Some local journalists present with the tourists saw a young man sitting on a wall surrounded by water. Those journalists contacted Annasaheb Andhale, Dam Branch Officer from the Water Resources Department on his mobile and informed them about the incident. Executive Engineer Saili Patil immediately ordered all the 11 doors of the dam to be shut. The water levels then started receding. After a while, Dhanraj was rescued safely. Fifteen to twenty minutes Dhanraj was surrounded by water flowing at the rate of two thousand cusecs per second. As luck would have it, Dhanraj’s life was saved.
Shortly after the incident, some enthusiastic tourists had descended to swim in stationary water under the doors. Some tourists were walking through the wall along the stationary water area and through the fast flowing water. Tourists were taking selfies in extremely dangerous places. Therefore, it is necessary to keep a police bandobast in place.
Saili Patil, Executive Engineer of Mula Irrigation Department said, “Alarm was sounded three times fifteen minutes before the dam gates were opened. But, enthusiastic tourists go and sit in dangerous places. The trapped youth has been handed over to the police. Access to the dam area is prohibited. Due to inadequate staffing at the water resources department, it is not possible to keep an eye on tourists.”