Politician blames the crabs for the violation of the Maharashtra dam

KOLHAPUR: Minister of water conservation, Tanaji Sawant, said Friday that the holes dug by crabs caused the rupture of the Tivare dam, in which 18 people lost their lives on Tuesday night. Although he hastened to clarify that it was not his opinion but the observation of village elders, Sawant's comments provoked sharp reactions from opposition parties.

The minister told reporters in Solapur that the old villagers told me that the crabs had made holes in the dam. This is a common problem in Konkan. When the repairs were made, the mud only emptied on the spots, but the holes did not fill up. The locals have told me this and I am only expressing their observations, he said. He added that the villagers had complained about him because of the weak structure of the dam and the constant leaks.

Sawant visited the site of the tragedy on Wednesday along with water resources minister Girish Mahajan and Ratnagiri district guardian minister Ravindra Waykar. He said that an offense related to the tragedy of the dam will be registered after the investigation ordered by the government is completed.

Sawant's observations assume importance as the local MLA of Shiv Sena is at the center of the controversy. Chavan admitted that Khemraj Company, owned by his brother, built a dam in 2004. Sawant said he was talking about the crabs to protect the local SLA MLA.

In Thane, PNC workers led by the party's general secretary, Jitendra Awhad, entered the Naupada police station with crabs in their hands and urged the police to arrest them. If the minister believes that the crabs caused the breach, then a case against the crabs should be recorded under Section 302 of the IPC for murder, said the head of the juvenile wing of the NCP state, Mehboob Sheikh.