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Khuga Canal Fiasco Takes A ‘Sabotage Turn’, Biren Points Out Technical Flaws

IMPHAL, Mar 18: Referring to the news report about breaching of the Khuga Dam’s left canal for a length of about 50 feet, MLA O Joy raised a point of order today at the Assembly session seeking explanation from the Irrigation and Flood Control Minister.

O Joy pointed out that Khuga Dam is yet to give any benefits to the people whereas demands of next year’s expenditure for IFCD were passed by the State Assembly yesterday.

The veteran MLA suggested that the Minister is obligated to furnish a statement on the floor of the House with regard to the breaching of Khuga Dam’s left canal.

In response, IFC Minister N Biren stated that the Khuga Dam was constructed over an extended period of time spanning over 27/28 years.

The embankment of the canals should have been made by bringing mud/earth from a distance of about 2/3 Kms but the embankments were made by earth taken from a nearby spot.

This led to formation of bid ponds near the canal system leading to seepage of water from the canal system to these big ponds.

As such, when water is released at full capacity, there may be some breaches along the canal system, Biren said.

Conceding that more portions of the canal embankments may get breached, Biren said that the breached portions would be repaired,

Except for a certain volume of raw water released to the canal for domestic consumption, no irrigation water is being supplied through the canal officially.

Stating that the breached portions looked like they were dugged out deliberately, the IFC Minister informed the House that an FIR case has been registered in connection with the incident and that efforts are on in to book the responsible culprits.

Besides blocking the left side main canal at two points, some anti-social elements blocked the four canal outlets lying between RD 3200 and RD 3500 to prevent flow of water through these canal outlets.

It is evident that this was a clear case of sabotage of the canal by some anti-social elements, Biren stated.

He further pointed out that the Khuga Multipurpose Project is about 28 years old and that most of the canal systems are very old and constructed more than 15 years back.

The IFC Minister clarified that there is no crack in the spillway structure as alleged by the Khuga Dam JAC.

The Khuga Dam has been caught in a series of controversy ever since work resumption started after the Prime Minister asked the State Government to take up all schemes and projects which were left unfinished, during his visit here in the latter part of 2004 when the Manorama episode had paralyzed the State.  There are also reports that the dam is yet to generate any power though it was initially supposed to generate 1.5 MGWT.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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