Out of the 1,332 major and medium dams in Maharashtra, over 313 demand urgent attention and are in need of fixing, The Indian Express has reported.
According to the report, the Dam Safety Organisation (DSO) divides health of a dam into three categories, classified according to their deficiencies and the work that needs to be done over them.
A senior water resources department official told the newspaper that category one deficiencies are major and can lead to failure. Category two deficiencies can be rectified but they are in need of immediate attention. Category three deficiencies are those that have minor or no deficiencies, according to the report.
The DSO's Annual Health Status Report (2017-18), cited in the CAG report, revealed that roughly 23 percent dams in Maharashtra have category two deficiencies.
"It was found that there were no dams with Category 1 deficiencies, 313 dams with Category 2 deficiencies, and the remaining 1,012 dams were in Category 3," the CAG report stated. Sources told the newspaper that an Annual Status Health Report is being compiled for the year 2018-19.
Out of these 313 dams, deficiencies have been "fully rectified" in only 13 and "partially rectified" in 77 cases, the CAG report states, according to the newspaper. The DSO had conducted inspections in 1,325 dams in Maharashtra.
"Inspections of each of the major and medium dams is carried out at least once a year," Iqbal Singh Chahal, Principal Secretary (Water Resources) told the newspaper, adding that of the annual development budget of Rs 11,000 crore, 10 percent has been set aside for special dam repairs.
The report attains significance considering the recent dam breach in Tiware dam in Chiplun taluka of Ratnagiri district. Over 23 people have died while at least four are still missing after seven downstream villages flooded on July 2, after the breach.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to investigate the incident, and the state Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan reportedly said the probe would look into allegations of officials ignoring complaints about leaks from the dam.