Hirakud dam security to be tightened

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Sambalpur: Taking note of slack security in Hirakud Dam, the Odisha government has asked the dam authorities to identify location in the dam site area for installation of CCTV cameras and watch towers.

In a letter to The Chief Engineer and Basin Manager, Upper Mahanadi Basin, Burla on August 27 this year, additional secretary HK Padhi has asked him to contact the Superintendent of Police of Sambalpur and Bargarh and finalize the location at dam site for installation of CCTV and construction of watch tower and submit the estimates for execution of the work as suggested by the State Police and Director, Intelligence by tomorrow.

To know about the present security of the dam, the OTV team had a ground survey from Jamadarpalli to Hirakud dam along the dyke road. On the way, the team found dilapidated check posts with no security personnel at these places. The team also found no security measures in the vast reservoir area. The lone patrol boat was found lying defunct near the dyke for a long time.

The team found a PCR van patrolling in the nearby area of the dam. Though there is a provision to frisk the visitors in the main dam area, the team came to know that the security personnel are used to allow the visitors after collecting money from them.

Asked about the matter, Burla-Hirakud SDPO Abakash Routray said he has not received such allegations so far. “Since I am not always at the check gate, I will definitely take action if such allegations come to my notice”, he added.

Notably, a high level review meeting was held under the chairmanship of the Home secretary in Bhubaneswar on August 12 in which a proposal was given for installation of 33 CCTV cameras and setting up of  four watch towers, five sentry posts and deployment of two companies of OISF personnel and two power boats in and around the dam site.

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