Teams of the Army and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Saturday reached Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, where a breach in the wall of an under-construction dam on Karam river, had set off alarm bells.
Two helicopters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) were put on standby to deal with any emergency situation, officials said.
The government said water was being safely drained out from the reservoir to reduce pressure on its wall.
The Opposition Congress raised a question mark over the quality of work of the dam and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led State government of indulging in corruption with regards to the project that was worth ₹304 crore.
The leakage of water from the dam was reported around 1 p.m. on Thursday. The reservoir of the dam was filling up with water for the first time this monsoon as it was under construction, officials said.
People shifted safely
As a precautionary measure, people from 12 villages in Dhar district and six villages in Khargone district have been shifted to safer places, officials stated, adding that these settlements were downstream of the dam.
State Water Resources Minister Tulsi Silawat issued a statement on Saturday, saying that an Army team had reached Dhar to deal with an emergency and the NDRF had also got down to work.
He said the situation was under complete control and water from the dam was being drained out safely to reduce the pressure on the reservoir walls.
Mr. Silawat was at the dam site to monitor the situation, the release said.
The dam was coming up at a cost of ₹304 crore, of which ₹174 crore have been spent so far, official sources said.
Around 200 Army personnel, including engineers, and three teams of the NDRF from Bhopal as well as from Gujarat's Vadodara Surat have reached Dhar. Each team has around 30 to 35 members. Besides them, eight groups of the State Disaster Emergency Response Force (SDERF) are at work in Dhar, they said. Two IAF helicopters have been placed on standby, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Home Dr. Rajesh Rajora said in a statement.
The 590-metre-long and 52-metre-high dam, a medium-level irrigation project, has 15 million cubic metre (MCM) water in its reservoir, Dr. Rajora said
Apart from Mr. Silawat, Industries Minister Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon was also at the dam site, officials said.
Congress MLA Dr. Hiralal Alawa, who represents Manawar Assembly constituency in Dhar, alleged that a weak foundation of ₹304 crore-worth dam was laid to make money and it had caused the water to leak.
"The feeble foundation couldn't withstand the pressure of water. The leak smacks of rampant corruption in dam construction which has put the lives of more than 26,000 people living downstream to danger," he added.
“The leak smacks of rampant corruption in dam construction which has put the lives of more than 26,000 people living downstream to danger”Dr Hiralal AlawaCongress MLA