Vikash Sharma

A minor flood is likely in Mahanadi river provided heavy rainfall activities continue in upper catchment areas in Chhattisgarh and downstream in Odisha, said Engineer-in-chief, Water Resources Bijay Kumar Mishra on Saturday.

As per Mishra, around 6 lakh cusecs of flood water is expected to pass through Mundali at around 8 am tomorrow. “At present, excess water is being released through 24 gates of Hirakud dam. We are expecting 6 lakh cusecs of water to pass through Mundali barrage tomorrow. The Baitaraini has breached the danger mark of 17.83mts at Akhuapada at 11 am today. Though the water level of major rivers is rising, it is below the danger mark as of today,” said Mishra.

In view of average 25 mm of rainfall in upper catchment areas of Mahanadi and 45 mm in downstream, more gates of Hirakud dam could be opened to release excess water. More water is entering Hirakud dam due to heavy rainfall in Chhattisgarh.

The Chhattisgarh water resource department officials are pressurising the Hirakud dam authorities to open more gates of the dam. “We have already told Chhattisgarh counterpart that the gates of Hirakud dam will be opened only after reviewing the situation,” said Mishra.

The holidays of officials and other staff have been cancelled and they have been asked to monitor and supervise the situation at various points and river embankments in the coastal belt of the state.

“As of today, there is no flood situation. But a minor flood is likely in Mahanadi system if rainfall continues in Chhattisgarh. Only after reviewing the inflow from Chhattisgarh and capacity of the reservoir, we can say on the further situation,” said Mishra.