Water levels receding in major rivers in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Water levels in most of the major rivers in state receded on Monday following scanty rain in the catchment areas during the past 24 hours, official sources said.

"The water level in major rivers like Mahanadi, Baitarani, Vansadhara and Budhabalang is falling due to less rain during last 24 hours. There is no fear of flood for now," Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra told reporters.

However, there was rise in the water levels of Subernarekha and Baitarani flowing through the northern districts, he said.

While the water level at Rajghat of Subarnarekha was recorded at 6.63 meter on Sunday, it increased to 6.98 meter against the danger level of 10.36 meter. The water level at Jamsolaghat of Subarnarekha river was also rising, official sources said.

Similarly, the water levels at both Anandapur and Akhuapada of river Baitarani also increased on Monday evening, they said.

The state government, however, asked district collectors in the coastal area to remain alert on the situation which could also change if there was rainfall.

River Mahanadi, which created flood havoc in 19 districts in the state last year, however, was on receding trend though water level at Hirakud reservoir remained at 613.08 feet against the reservoir level of 630 feet.

With 19 sluice gates at Hirakud reservoir opened, about 6.25 lakh cusecs of water flowed though Mundali in downstream of Mahanadi. "One can fear flood in Mahanadi river system if above 9 lakh cusecs water flows through Mundali," Mohapatra said.

Mohapatra also claimed that the flood situation in Kalahandi district has improved and normalcy had been restored on National Highway 26, which was cut off due to flood water in river Hati. Vehicular traffic was disrupted on Sunday on NH-26 from Bhawanipatna to Junagarh.

Anticipating flood inundation, the state government had evacuated about 1,500 people of four villages and kept them in a nearby school building.

"As the water has receded today. The people have returned to their villages," Mohapatra said, adding that some places under Thuamul Rampur, Jaipatna and Koksara block of Kalahandi were affected due to flash flood.

Similarly, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said, "Two blocks of Kandhamal district namely Tumudibandh and Kotagarh are affected due to flash flood on the midnight of August 2. Free kitchen was opened for the affected people."

Emergency assistance has been extended up to seven days as per the direction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the situation at the secretariat today. Medical teams have been sent to the affected villages of Kandhamal, Patro added.