Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Burla (Sambalpur), July 31:
Taking note of the rise in the water level of the Hirakud reservoir at Burla in Odisha’s Sambalpur district, dam authorities have decided to open 20 sluice gates tomorrow to release excess water.
With the opening of the 20 gates tomorrow, flood waters from the reservoir would be released from 24 gates, Biswajit Mohanty, chief engineer, Hirakud Dam told reporters today.
It may be mentioned that the dam authorities had opened 23 gates on June 24 to release the first phase floodwater from the reservoir. Later they closed 19 gates after monitoring the water level.
Asked about the possible flood situation in the lower catchments after the release of floodwater from the dam, Mohanty said the water level in the reservoir is now 620 feet, only 10 feet below its optimum level.
“We estimate that the reservoir would receive around 3.5 lakh cusecs of water in the next 24 hours that would raise the water level to 623 feet. In view of this, we have decided to open 20 more gates to release 3.6 lakh cusecs of water and 3.8 lakh cusecs water through the powerhouse. We expect that about 7 lakh cusecs of water would pass through Mundali barrage in the lower catchments after the release of water from the reservoir .
He, however, said that the water inflow at Mundali barrage will have normalized by the time the released floodwater reaches the barrage since there is little possibility of fresh rains.
“We would later close the gates in phases after the water level drops down to 617 feet,” Mohanty said.