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13 bodies recovered, 10 missing after breach in Maharashtra dam

The National Disaster Response Force recovered 13 bodies in Chiplun Taluka of Ratnagiri district on Wednesday, casualties of the dam breach that took place on Tuesday due to incessant rains in the state. Of the 23 persons reported to have drowned after the dam waters flooded villages located downstream, 10 remain missing.

The Tiware dam in Chiplun taluka of Ratnagiri district has a storage capacity of 20 lakh cubic metre. It developed a breach late Tuesday night. The dam breach caused a flood-like situation in seven downstream villages, with 12 houses being swept away.

A police officer said rescue operations were hampered initially due to darkness and sudden influx of water.

Local public representatives claimed the government neglected their pleas for repair of the dam. They said the administration was informed about cracks in the walls of the dam, but no action was taken.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a high-level probe into the incident and took stock of the relief and rescue operations from local administration on Wednesday.

Residents say they had written to the government about cracks in the walls of the dam last November, but their pleas for maintenance were ignored.“The State will find out where the lapse took place and take action accordingly,” said Water Resources minister Girish Mahajan who visited the site on Wednesday.

Mahajan added that the homes that were washed away will be re-constructed at safe places and a compensation of Rs 4 lakh will be given to the kin of each of the deceased.

(Inputs from agencies)

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