Kolhapur, July 5: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Friday demanded an FIR against crabs after Maharashtra minister Tanaji Sawant blamed crustaceans for the breach in Tiware dam in Ratnagiri district. In a dig at Tanaji Sawant, NCP workers reached Shahupuri police station with a couple of crabs and demanded registration of FIR under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code against them.
The demand comes after the newly-appointed Water Conservation Minister attributed the breach in Tiware dam to the weakening of wall by crabs. In what is seen as an insensitive remark, Sawant called the dam breach incident a "natural calamity" and said whatever is destined to happen, will happen. He said locals had informed him about a large number of crabs who have weakened the wall of the dam.
"The wall was weakened by a large number crabs and after it was pointed out to the government officials, some remedial measures were taken up," Sawant told reporters. "It was a tragedy, but I think you cannot change your fate. Whatever is going to happen, will happen. It was a kind of natural calamity," he said. The minister added that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has appointed an SIT that will reveal the exact cause behind the breach.
Asked about whether the repair works of the dam was shoddy, he said: "We realised it only when water started accumulating in the dam." The Tiwari Dam here had breached on July 3, creating a flood-like situation downstream. At least 18 persons have lost their lives while few are still missing after the dam breach.
Last year, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan had stirred up a controversy after he attributed a major breach in the right wall of the Mutha canal in Pune, which had inundated parts of the city, to rats, other rodents and crabs. "The canal wall caved in as rats, rodents and crabs had been gnawing away at it, burrowing holes in the walls foundation," he had said.