Ahmedabad, Aug 24 (PTI) Claims that the Gujarat government wanted to lower the water level of the Sardar Sarovar Dam due to excessive seepage were "baseless" and the structure is safe, the Dam Safety Review Panel (DSRP) said on Tuesday.
Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar had claimed in Bhopal on Monday that the Gujarat government had requested the Narmada Control Authority to allow lowering of the reservoir level because there was excessive seepage which might lead to deterioration of the structure.
DSRP chairman A B Pandya said in a statement that the panel recently made a recommendation to lower the water level for the maintenance of the upstream surface of the dam.
The DSRP is a body under the Central Water Commission and includes experts from various domains such as dam engineering, hydrology, mechanical engineering, geology, seismology and instrumentation.
"Claims about seepage made by Medha Patkar are baseless and unfounded. Seepage in the concrete of a dam is very common. Every man-made concrete structure needs maintenance after some time. Moreover, the level of seepage at SSD is under its limit," said Pandya in a statement.
While asserting that the panel never came across any danger or risk to the dam, he said Gujarat officials were carrying out general maintenance as recommended by the DSRP.
"As part of the general protocol for the maintenance of the upstream surface of the dam, the panel has made a recommendation to bring down the water level," said Pandya.
The DSRP had visited the dam, situated in Narmada district of Gujarat, in July 2021 for inspection.
As per the Central Water Commission's Dam Safety Standards, the dam is "Primarily Safe", the statement said. PTI PJT PD KRK