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Minister holds crabs responsible for Maharashtra’s dam tragedy

NCP workers protest at Naupada police station against Maharashtra water conservation minister Tanaji Sawant who said leakage to Tiware dam was caused as a large number of crabs had gathered around the dam in chiplun. Protesters presented crabs to police as crabs are accused in dam breach and requested to arrest them.   | Photo Credit: Vibhav Birwatkar

Crabs in Maharashtra are now facing the threat of being held responsible for the dam breach.

Maharashtra’s newly appointed Water Conservation Minister Tanaji Sawant on Thursday said that the Chiplun’s Tiware dam breach was a result of crabs weakening the walls. The breach claimed 18 lives. He went on to say that whatever is destined to happen will happen.

The opposition slammed the minister saying he is blaming the crab to save the big corrupt fish.

“The wall was weakened by a large number of crabs and after it was pointed out to the government officials, some remedial measures were taken up. The SIT appointed by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will come up with its findings soon and we will come to know what exactly went wrong,” Mr Sawant has said while speaking to reporters on Thursday.

“In just eight hours, 192 mm rainfall was recorded in the catchment area of the dam. As per my information, the water level of the dam increased by eight metres in eight hours. The villagers wonder whether it was due to a cloudburst. It was a tragedy, but I think you cannot change your fate. Whatever is going to happen, will happen. It was a kind of natural calamity,” he said.

Nawab Malik, national spokesperson of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), accused the minister, who hails from Shiv Sena, of protecting local Shiv Sena MLA Sadanand Chavan. Leader of Opposition Vijay Vadettiwar had accused that Mr Chavan’s construction company built the dam.

“Don’t blame crabs as you defend a big corrupt fish. A judicial probe must be carried out into the entire episode and the guilty MLA must be punished,” Mr Malik said.

Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant asked whether the government will now file a case under section 302 on crabs. “The engineers and contractors who know the whereabouts of crabs will be asked to arrest them,” taunted Mr Sawant.

Meanwhile, NCP MLA Dr Jitendra Awhad on Friday ‘presented’ crabs in Thane’s Naupada police station asking officials to arrest them for being responsible of Tiware dam breach.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 8:51:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/crabs-add-masala-to-maharashtras-tragedy/article28297769.ece

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