MYSURU: Panic gripped people in the Cauvery basin area after a small wall at Krishnaraja Sagar Dam collapsed on Sunday evening. Irrigation Department engineers, however, said that there is no threat to the dam and the collapse occurred away from the reservoir.
Around 30 stones of the wall under a ramp connecting the KRS Dam and the Cauvery statue at Brindavan Gardens came tumbling down and it was caught on a CCTV camera installed at the dam site. The video went viral on Monday, spreading fear among farmers and people in and around the KRS reservoir.
‘Wall collapsed due to rain, dam not in danger’
Irrigation Department officials rushed to the spot, barricaded the portion where the collapse occurred and blocked entry of people into Brindavan Gardens and the dam for some time. They pressed workers to rebuild the 2.5 metre wall, removed loose soil at the spot and completed the works by evening.
Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd Superintendent Engineer Vijaykumar, who accompanied Chief Engineer Shankar Gowda to inspect the spot, told TNIE that the collapse occurred 11 ft away from the dam structure and at 89 ft height of the KRS reservoir, which has a capacity storage of 124.8 ft.
He said that the collapse did not indicate that the dam is in danger and the stone wall built using mortar had collapsed because of heavy rains over the last one week.
He denied that the dam has developed cracks, and pointed out that any reservoir always has minor seepage which is common. He said that the government has taken up works to contain seepage in the dam.
Mandya MP Sumalatha, who had recently said that the KRS Dam had developed cracks because of illegal mining around the reservoir, on Monday said that the collapse of the wall is a red alert and that the government and officials should take up immediate works to protect the monument.
Sumalatha, who is in Delhi for the monsoon session of Parliament, told the media that the State Government should conduct a detailed study by experts and act tough on erring officials. During her recent visit to Baby Betta near Srirangapatna, she wanted the government to strictly ban illegal mining in and around KRS dam. JDS MLA Ravindra Srikanataih, who visited the collapse site on Monday morning, too, clarified that there is no threat to the dam.