Pradeep Pattanayak

The Hirakud dam released season’s first floodwater to Mahanadi river on Monday. Five sluice gates were opened to discharge the floodwater in the first phase. The gates were opened following a customary religious ritual. 

The dam authorities recently decided to release the excess floodwater following steady rise in the water level of the reservoir in the wake of incessant rainfall in the catchment area of the dam. 

Currently, the water level of the reservoir stands at 613.08 feet while the dam's maximum storage capacity is 630 feet. The inflow and outflow at the reservoir stand at 1,35,141 cusecs and 39,348 cusecs respectively. 

Taking these aspects into consideration, the dam authorities decided to release flood water. 

Since there is high possibility of sudden increase in the water level of Mahanadi and its other distributaries after the floodwater discharge, the dam authorities have sounded alert for the people living in low-lying areas. 

When asked about the evacuation process to be taken for the safety of people living in low lying areas, Sambalpur district Collector Ananya Das said, “The present situation is not so serious and doesn’t need evacuation. The exercise is only to maintain the water level. However, the nearby areas have been identified and put on alert.”

Informing about the floodwater release, Chief Engineer of Hirakud Dam Anand Chandra Sahu said, “The inflow of above 2 lakh cusecs at the upper end of the dam is gradually decreasing and at present the same at the reservoir stands at 1,07,000 cusecs. In order to adjust the inflow, we decided to open five gates.”

Notably, the State has been experiencing heavy downpour for the last couple of days under the impact of back-to-back low pressures.

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