Bhopal, Aug 14 (PTI) The Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday demanded the resignation of Water Resources Minister Tulsi Silawat on the moral ground over a crack in the wall of an under-construction dam on the Karam river.
The CPI (M) also demanded a probe into the contract given to a “corrupt” firm for the construction of the dam in the Dhar district for Rs 305 crore and alleged that the lives of 22,000 people are at stake.
“The minister should stop giving sermons,” MP CPI (M) secretary Jaswinder Singh said in a statement seeking a probe into the dam wall breach.
The license of a Delhi-based company was suspended and cancelled for indulging in corruption and irregularities in 2016-17 by the state government (of the BJP). But this company was given the contract of Rs 305 crore to build the Karam dam, which developed a leak during its first fill of water, he alleged. “Without checking the quality of the work, the company has been paid. This scam is not restricted to the bureaucratic level but happened under political patronage. This needs a thorough probe,” Singh said.
He alleged that in the e-tendering scam of MP before the outbreak of coronavirus, the Karam dam had figured. Then, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said that a company has distributed Rs 93 crore as a bribe in that scam. The names of a minister and officers had cropped up, he claimed.
He alleged that the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of MP Police had registered a case in connection with the Karam dam but it was put in cold storage. Singh said, “such a big scam of criminal and corrupt nature has put the lives of 22000 people (living downstream of the dam) at stake”.
“Silawat should resign on moral grounds. He can’t shrug off his responsibility,” the CPI (M) leader said. When asked about what he meant by the minister “giving sermons”, Singh said Silawat on Saturday told reporters after visiting the dam site that it was not the time to debate who was guilty of the dam’s breach.
“Rather it was time to save lives,” the minister had told reporters, the CPI (M) leader said.
Earlier in the day, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said there was no need to worry and efforts were on to drain out water from the reservoir. Chouhan also said the need of the hour was for political parties to refrain from levelling allegations and rather focus on public safety.
The breach in the dam, located some 35 km from the Dhar district headquarters, was reported on Thursday, after which an alert was sounded as 18 villages downstream, including 12 in Dhar and six in Khargone, were in danger of getting inundated, officials had said. Several people from the 18 villages have already been shifted to safer places, they added.
Teams from the Army, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and other agencies were at work and prepared to deal with any emergency in Dhar.
Two helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were also on standby, officials said. PTI LAL NSK NSK
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