By K.B. Ganapathy, Editor-in-Chief
The fact that the sound of the blast was recorded at the Earthquake Monitoring Centre at Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam according to C.N. Prabhu, scientist from Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre in Bengaluru, should cause serious concern about the safety of the Dam to those authorities entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring the Dam’s safety and strength. It would be wise if a safety survey or investigation is undertaken immediately now that there is proof that what happens at the stone quarry at Baby Betta, 8 kms away, surely has an impact on the area where the Dam is located.
Having lived in Pune for seven years, I still remember people recalling the breaching of Panshet Dam a few miles above Pune city during the 1961 monsoon season. The Dam had burst fortunately early in the morning and the flood waters reached Pune later in the morning. The deluge of flood waters of Panshet Dam was such that it broke the small Khadakvasla Dam further downstream and headed towards Pune city through Mula and Mutha Rivers. Because of the warning many residents fled to higher grounds.
Most parts of the city on the banks of the rivers were flooded. It was sad at that time even when the cracks were observed there was debate whether the Dam was in real imminent danger. Because of the Army jawans who were piling up thousands of sand bags to protect the Dam, the people downstream had enough time to move to the higher grounds.
Well, prevention is better than cure. Will our politicians and the bureaucracy get rid of their ostrich behaviour and appoint a Commission of Scientists and experts to inquire into this incident and give the report in 30 days? Forewarned is forearmed.