Then, in July 2003, Madhukar went away for a training program to Delhi. Our team leader was also not present that day in office when in the afternoon some villagers from Madagan came rushing and told that the because of continuous rains, the dam is full up to the brink and if it rains any further, the water would flow over the dam, breaching its bund and reducing it into a heap of rubble.
I asked Laxman, a civil engineer by profession (who had joined the same week) to come with me for an inspection of the site. We reached there in about an hour through muddy grounds and found that villagers were right indeed. The water level was only about a feet below the top of the dam. It was surprising as there was a provision of a spillway, that acts as safety valve for the dam to let the water flow out safely and effortlessly after dam gets filled up to a particular level, making sure that the water never reaches the top of the dam. Then why was it happening?
We were in a dilemma what to do- remaking the spillway would take a lot of time and may be by then the dam itself would be breached. The villagers were looking at us, waiting for our decision. Since I was older in the organization- the responsibility came to me to ensure the safety of the dam.
I had once asked about the cost of the dam to Madhukar and he had told me that it was some where around 200,000 rupees. He had also told me that the spillway had cost us some 14,000 rupees. Under the circumstances, the natural thought came to me- to sacrifice a 14,000 rupees structure to save the bigger, 200,000 rupees structure.
I concluded that we will have to demolish the floor of spillway. But how? It was made of stones with a plaster of cement concrete on the floor and sides. Getting laborers or explosives to break it was impossible as the day was setting.
I had a quick look at the floor of the spill way and thought - may be we can break it. But how? There was no implements (spades etc) available. We were quite far from the village. I saw a rock lying on one side of spillway and decided to try breaking floor with it. I raised it high over my head with both my hands and slammed it on the floor with all my might- lo and behold!
There was a crack in the floor- thanks to the poor work done by the local contractor! Another try -more cracks! Then I decided that this is how to do it- break the floor with the rocks and then pull out the stone under the floor to make the spillway deeper. Laxman also helped me out- and we started demolishing the spillway of the dam with our bare hands!