Free Press Journal

Mandi tragedy: Probe report blames Larji Dam authorities


Mandi: Twelve days after 24 college students and a tour operator were swept away by a wall of water on the river Beas, the probe report investigating the tragedy has blamed Larji Hydropower project for it.

The probe conducted by Mandi Divisional Commissioner Onkar Sharma has been submitted to the Himachal High Court.

The report has claimed that there were glaring lapses and failure on the part of the Larji project authorities who ignored standard procedures and released water from the barrage into Beas River.

In his 93-page report, the Divisional Commissioner Onkar Sharma has alleged that the discharge of water in spillways was raised from 20 cumecs or cubic metres per second to 450 cumecs within one hour.

“There are no standard operating procedures related to release of water from the barrage. The officers involved in powerhouse operation and those handling barrage operations are not working in tandem,” the report said.

“The warning system is also inadequate. All this constitutes a systemic failure due to wrong and entrenched faulty procedure and practices prevalent at the Largi project,” said the probe report.

Meanwhile, a division bench comprising of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan has asked the state government to file status report by June 24 on the steps taken on the inquiry report.

The operation to recover the bodies of those drowned in the tragedy is still on. 12 bodies have been recovered so far and 13 are yet to be found.