Season’s first floodwater released from Hirakud dam

Sambalpur: Amid a huge public gathering, the authorities released the season’s first floodwater of Mahanadi river from Hirakud dam here today.

According to reports, the officials of the Asia’s longest earthen dam opened gate no.7 after conducting a ‘puja’, a practice followed before releasing season’s first floodwater every year. As of now, four sluice gates were opened while three more will be opened in phases, an official said.

“As per the rule, the water level of the dam should be 610 feet in July. Abide by the rule, we try to bring down the level to 610 feet whenever it goes up,” said the dam’s chief engineer Biswajeet Mohanty.

The water level in Hirakud reservoir steadily went up due to incessant rain in its upper catchment areas following the depression in Bay of Bengal. Currently, around 2,14,327 cubic foot per second (cusec) of water is entering into the reservoir while 20,392 cusec of water is being released, the official added.

Meanwhile, the authorities have warned the people living in the downstream areas not to venture into the river for bath as the water level would go up alarmingly with strong river current after the release.