Bagmati breaches embankment

Probe may put Buta Singh in a fix

By Alok Kumar Gupta
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

PRASHANT RAVION AUGUST 1, when the Bagmati river breached its sand embankment in Sitamarhi district, Bihar, it brought unforeseen trouble for the state’s former governor Buta Singh. He had allegedly awarded the contract for constructing the embankment to Hindustan Steelworks Construction Ltd by flouting norms during his 14-month stint as Bihar’s governor till January 2006. The state’s water resources minister Bijender Prasad Yadav has ordered a probe into the allotment process of the embankment construction work costing Rs 900 crore. The Bagmati had inundated 250 villages and displaced five lakh people. Sources in the state water resources department said the company had no experience in embankment construction. Not a single tender was floated and the allotment was done on the basis of nomination. Singh is also said to have ignored the report of a committee led by engineer N Sanyal that said the embankments along the river are unable to withstand strong river currents and had broken at 20 places between 1995 and 2000. River expert D K Mishra said nature of the embankment built by HSCL was temporary. “Sand embankments can’t control floods,” said Yadav. There is something fishy about the project report of the construction work. Normally, tenders are floated for such work, he said. The state now plans to construct concrete embankments. Ôûá

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