Embankment collapses in mudslide

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  • Published 16.06.11

Cuttack, June 15: A small portion of the Mahanadi embankment collapsed in a mudslide at around 9pm last night causing panic to the Nehrupalli locality. However, the authorities today initiated steps to repair the oldest earthen embankment.

According to local residents, a portion of the Mahanadi embankment gave in under the impact of a strong current of wastewater that was being pumped out from the locality through a five HP motor pump.

“There is absolutely no drainage system at Nehrupalli and the excess wastewater and rain water were being pumped out through a motor pump when the incident occurred last night,” said Jivan Panda (50), a local resident.

Panda said the wastewater was being released from one end of the locality down to the Mahandi riverbed using pipes that were connected with the motor pump.

The local residents alleged that laying of pipes along the Mahanadi river embankments for water linkage from the Jobra barrage for the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) project at Paradip had apparently weakened the embankment, making it vulnerable to breaches.

“Due to laying of pipes for the IOC project, the Mahanadi embankment became weakened as it could not stand a strong current of water released from a motor pump. From this, it is evident that the north western parts of the city have become vulnerable with possible chance of inundation,” said Dasarathi Sahoo, another local resident.

“The embankment could not stand the pressure of water released from a motor pump. How can we feel safe when the Mahanadi river will be in spate,” Sahoo said.

Following the incident, officials of the Jobra irrigation (sub-division) said the embankment had not collapsed, but a portion got washed away due to the negligence on part of the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) that was releasing waste water directly on the embankment. The officials said the pipeline work stopped before May 31 keeping in view the onset of monsoon.

“There was a scouring not due to rain. The embankment packing got damaged owing to direct release of water by the corporation,” said Jobra irrigation (sub-division) sub-divisional officer Babulal Behera said. He said the stone packing got damaged due to the scouring. “We will certainly apprise the higher officials of the incident for initiating action against the CMC for the negligence,” he said.

There is no threat to the embankment and adequate measures are being taken for its packing at many places. Efforts were initiated to restore the portion of the embankment with sand and subsequently steps would be taken for stone packing, the official said.