No flood threat due to release of Mahanadi water: Govt

Bhubaneswar: The state government today assured the people that there is no threat of floods in the lower catchment areas of Mahanadi due to the release of water from Hirakud dam tomorrow.

Briefing media persons this afternoon, Water Resources secretary Pradeep Jena said the water level in Hirakud reservoir was 614 feet by 9 AM as against its optimum level of 630 feet. While 1.25 lakh cusecs of water was entering the reservoir per hour, 20,000 cusecs of water per hour was being released through canals and power channels.

“If this trend continues, the water level of the reservoir would go up to 615.5 feet by 10 AM tomorrow. Keeping this in view and considering the water flow from the upper catchments of Mahanadi, we have decided to release water through six or 10 sluice gates any time after 10 AM. If 10 gates are opened, about 1.5 lakh cusecs of water will be released per hour. But the release of the water will not pose flood threat in the lower catchments of the river,” he maintained.

Jena, however, said the people living near the river and its tributary areas are advised to remain on alert as there will be a rise in the water level. “We want to request the people of these areas through the media that they should not go into the river and let their cattle graze nearby the river,” he said.