Maithon Dam revamp spells peril for tourists
The ongoing renovation of the Maithon Dam, considered to be one of the hottest picnic spots in the entire eastern region, has earned the flak of tourists.
With boulders, stone chips, sand and other construction materials strewn all over the road over the dam, the scenic beauty of the getaway has not only taken a serious beating, but has also increased the chances of accidents during peak picnic season. Vehicles can easily skid off the carriageway and fall into the lake.
The Rs 7-crore renovation funded by the World Bank is being implemented by the Dam Rehabilitation Improvement Project (DRIP).
Expressing disgust over the state of affairs, dermatologist Anjani Shukla, who recently visited the dam with his wife Khusboo Pandey, a project assistant at Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR) said, “I relocated to Dhanbad around six months ago. I had heard a lot about the beauty of the dam when I was working in Durgapur. Although the place is magical, the condition of the road is pathetic.”
Gurmit Singh Dang, a Nirsa-based social worker and owner of a bar and family restaurant at the dam site said, “Hundreds of tourists from Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand visit the site every year. Millennium Park located close to the dam and the DVC guesthouses are beautiful, too. But the condition of the road is such that tourists will think twice before making a plan to visit the locale.”
“Many tourists who come to our restaurant often ask us why the condition of the road is so pathetic? Unfortunately, we don’t have answers,” Dang said.
Located around 48km from the coal town, Maithon’s major attraction is the of 15,712-feet-long and 165-feet-high dam situated over Barakar river and the lake spread over 65sqkm. Boating around the several islands situated on the lake including Sabuj Deep and Chamoch Deep is also a key attraction among tourists. The Maa Kalyaneshwari Temple, barely 100 metres from the dam, is also another tourist magnet.
Public relations officer of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) M. Vijay Kumar said, “Currently, work is on to strengthen the pillars of the dam to increase its stability. Similar World Bank-sponsored DRIP projects are being implemented in 250 dams across the country. Road repairs and beautification will also be carried out as part of the project which is likely to the completed next year.”