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CM Nitish Kumar faces embarrassment as Bihar canal collapses on inauguration day

Bihar water resources minister Lallan Singh on Wednesday blamed the National Thermal Power Corporation for breaches in the Rs 828 crores Bateshwar Ganga canal which was scheduled to be inaugurated by the chief minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday. Programme was cancelled at last minute as the pandal set for the programme was inundated.

The canal was expected to irrigate 22000 hectares in Bihar and 5000 hectares in neighbouring Jharkhand.

“NTPC constructed an underpass by digging a tunnel near Kahalgaon. I admit lapse on our part, as we did not carry canal testing earlier. Principal secretary of WRD who is camping at the site has been asked to investigate the lapse and take action against the engineers concerned,” WRD minister told FPJ.

The then irrigation minister Sadanand Singh had laid the foundation of the project in 1977, when the construction cost was estimated at Rs 13 crores. The cost escalated to Rs 828 crores in last 40 years.

RJD president Lalu Prasad alleged large scale corruption in construction of the substandard canal which breached at two points. He demanded resignation of the WRD minister.

Former JDU president Sharad Yadav said as there was loot by engineers, minister should resign. Former chief minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi asked Nitish Kumar to punish the guilty. NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar too demanded resignation of WRD minister.

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