Experts visit Hirakud dam for new spillway

Bhubaneswar: A 12- member team of experts today visited Hirakud dam in Sambalpur district to inspect sites for the construction an additional spillways of the reservoir. Sources said, the team will inspect three sites of the dam out of which one will be selected for the construction work.

The expert panel, led by a World Bank member comprised members of Central Water Commission, officials of the State water department and engineers of Hirakud dam.

Sources added, the team is scheduled to hold a meeting in the afternoon after completing the field visit.

According to dam authorities, additional spillway will be constructed for release of increased amount of floodwaters to ensure the dam’s longevity. Taking note of the massive siltation and other related issues in the reservoir where cracks have appeared due to lack of proper maintenance, the dam authorities had planned to construct more spillways.

Officials added, while the tender process for the spillway would begin in a few months, constriction would start from the current fiscal.

It may be mentioned that the cracks and holes near the spillways of the main dam were noticed during an underwater survey of the dam in 2002-03. The dam authorities had later carried out repair of some of these cracks.

While the dam earlier had the provision of gross discharge of 15 lakh cusecs of water from the spillways in 1957, considering the present situation and future of the dam, provisions for release of 24 lakh cusecs of water has been planned, sources said.