A BRIDGE over the Bhavnagar-Somnath national highway became submerged, after water was released from the Dhatarwadi-II dam in Amreli on Friday. Videos of the bridge captured after it flooded showed heavy vehicles continuing to use the flooded bridge.
According to officials, water from the Dhatarwadi-II dam was released three days ago, as the dam over-flowed due to incessant rains in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Hindorna bridge, which is situated 1.8 kilometres from the dam, submerged into the water even as the road gave way due to erosion.
The dilapidated bridge had been used an alternative route for the past two weeks after the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) began construction of a new bridge over the Bhavnagar-Somnath national highway.
Videos that emerged on Friday showed heavy transport vehicles, such as rucks crossing the submerged bridge in a precarious manner, as it was the only alternative route created by authorities.
“Water was released from the Dhatawadi-II dam three days ago as it had started over-flowing due to incessant rainfall. As per procedure, we have given prior warnings to the people residing in nearby villages,” said H D Patel, Executive Engineer, Irrigation Department, Amreli.
Dhatarwadi-II dam, located near Rajula town, has a gross storage capacity of around 360 million cubic feet and a live storage capacity of 262 mcft.
The dam was completed in 2004 and is designed to irrigate around 2,600 hectares of land.
When asked about the construction work undertaken by the NHAI, the Project Manager of Dwarka, Pankaj Roy — who currently oversees the Somnath unit as well — refused to comment.