Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Sambalpur district administration sounded alarm to the inhabitants of the downstream areas of the Mahanadi river after the Hirakud dam authorities opened six more gates on Friday.

The dam is now discharging excessive water from the reservoir through 20 sluice gates.

Alerting the downstream areas, Sambalpur District Collector, Ananya Das said heavy rains at the upper catchment areas of the Mahanadi river have made the Hirakud reservoir receive a lot of water which is being released now through 20 gates.

“Major populated areas near the dam are being alerted through sirening. It is usually done two hours before the gates are opened. We are also alerting the people through loud speakers urging them to come back from the downstream areas.” Das said.

She also urged people to not go to those areas as the velocity of the water would be very high.

Apart from Mahanadi, other rivers too received water as the low pressure induced rains made some rivers swell across the State.

Speaking to OTV, the Engineer-in-Chief (EIC) of the Water Resource Department, Bijay Kumar Mishra said, “Though there is rain over past few days, almost all the rivers are flowing below the danger level except for Jalaka river.”

As far as preparation for floods is concerned, the EIC said that the administration is ready for any eventualities.

“3.47 lakh cusecs of water is currently passing through Mundali barrage. This is hardly a threat. I think by the time the water from Hirakud reaches Cuttack, the current water flow caused by rains would have been depleted. So I do not think there will be any flood situation for now. However, we must remain alert.” Mishra said.