At least 23 people were feared dead after a dam in Maharashtra's coastal Konkan region breached following incessant rains leading to flood-like situation in downstream villages, officials said on Wednesday. Eleven bodies have been recovered, the police said.
The Tiware dam in Ratnagiri district developed a breach late Tuesday night after heavy rains, a district official said.
The dam breach caused a flood-like situation in seven downstream villages, with as many as 12 houses being swept away.
When contacted, Additional Superintendent of Police, Ratnagiri, Vishal Gaikwad said a search operation has been launched by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state police personnel.
"Police have moved the villagers to safety. The situation is under control now," he said.
Another police officer said rescue operations were hampered initially due to darkness and sudden influx of water.
Local public representatives alleged that the government neglected their pleas for maintenance of the dam.
They claimed to have written to the administration about the cracks in the walls of the dam, but no action was taken.
Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan said villagers in the vicinity of the Tiware dam had complained of cracks in the dam.
(With inputs from PTI)