Sharmili Mallick

Incessant rainfall in the upper catchment of Hirakud Dam in Sambalpur district and heavy inflow of water into the reservoir have triggered flood fear among the residents of the town.

Presently, the floodwater is being released from 24 sluice gates of the dam, as per a report received at 6 am on Thursday.

The inflow of water into the reservoir dam remained at 4,35,794 cusec per second while the outflow was at 4,23,089 cusec. The water level in the dam stood at 628.39 feet against its full reservoir capacity of 630 feet.

In the Mahanadi river system, 6.38 lakh cusec of water was flowing at Khairmal while its volume was 4.64 lakh cusec at Barmul and 5.96 lakh cusec at Mundali near Cuttack, officials in the water resources department said.

“Water is being presently released from 24 gates. Keeping the situation in view, the district administration is on high alert. Rescue officials have been deployed in low-lying areas in Sambalpur and flood centers have been kept ready to accommodate affected people. Water has not entered any slums in the town till now. The rescue officials are alerting people in the low-lying regions while relief materials have also been kept at hand,” said a district administration official.

Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena had earlier said that a low to medium flood in the Mahanadi river system is being expected as the upper catchment areas in Chhattisgarh have been receiving heavy rainfall due to the depression which crossed Odisha on Tuesday.

The concerned officials have been continuously monitoring the water level of the Mahanadi River and its tributaries including Brahmani, Baitarani and Subarnarekha in view of the looming flood threat. 

On the other hand, rainwater was flowing two feet over a bridge near Malatijor disrupting vehicular communication in Sambalpur-Sonepur Road. 

Meanwhile, 5.96 lakh cusec water per second was being discharged at Mundali. The water level at the barrage stood at 88.90 feet against the danger mark of 97.25 feet, as per a report taken at 6 am today.

Similarly, 2.95 lakh cusec water was being discharged at Naraj. The water level at Naraj was at 25.50 metres against the danger level of 26.41 metres, as per a report take at 6 am.