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Rediff.com  » News » Army averts disaster at Maha Kumbh, plugs Ganga breach

Army averts disaster at Maha Kumbh, plugs Ganga breach

Last updated on: February 20, 2013 11:13 IST

A breach in an embankment along the Ganga caused by recent heavy rainfall which threatened to inundate a large area and affect Maha Kumbh pilgrims in Allahabad, has been plugged by a 60-member team of Army's Red Eagle Division who worked through the night averting a disaster.

Sector 10 of Kumbh Mela area was threatened by floods late Monday night when a water stream from river Ganga broke the embankment near a railway bridge and flooded the area following heavy rainfall over the last three days, Defence PRO Wing Commander B B Pande said.

This gave rise to the possibility of inundation of a very large area which would have necessitated eviction of thousands of pilgrims from the area, he said.

"A request for assistance was made by the Divisional Commissioner of Allahabad, Devesh Chaturvedi to the Army subsequently," the PRO said.

He said the 9 Engineers Regiment of the Army's Red Eagle Division swung into action as soon as it received the information about the "grim situation at 0130 hours" and a task force "comprising 60 engineer troops and heavy earth-moving equipment, led by Lt Col N Sundaresan, was mobilised within 20 minutes and were on site by 0200 hours".

"The soldiers worked throughout the night to plug the breach in embankment with sandbags and soil.

"The restoration work diverted the water back into the main stream of the Ganga, averting a major mishap," Pande said, adding, "However, a similar situation erupted upstream which was once again brought under control by redirecting the stream into Ganga river by creating a channel in the bund between the river and the stream".

The Wing Commander said, "The situation was brought under control by noon today thanks to the tireless and dedicated efforts by the task force from 9 Engineer Regiment which continued through the night."

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