Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Apr 26:
A preliminary report of underwater survey submitted by Central Soil and Material Research Station (CSMRS) has revealed Hirakud dam to be safe, said Chief Engineer of the Dam Biswajit Mohanty today.
“Central Government’s CSMRS yesterday submitted its preliminary report of the underwater survey undertaken at two spill ways and the power dam. The report claims that the dam is safe. The final report of the survey, however, is expected around end of May,” said Mohanty.
The report further makes it clear that the dam is in a better condition as compared to similar dams built earlier across the country.
Besides, the grouting undertaken to close the gap in the dam is also intact.
The survey was conducted in two phases. While the first survey was carried out in December last year for two spill ways, the second one was conducted between March 15 and April 5 for the dam built with stones.
Notably, cracks and small holes were identified at the spillways during an underwater survey in 2002-03. A whopping 212 pressure release holes at the 497th feet of the foundation gallery were also discovered. While some of holes were repaired at that time, many of them remained and it was feared that these holes might lead to larger cracks.
It may also be noted that the 59 year old dam’s water storage capacity has been on a steady decline because of silt that comes along with the flood waters.
As per a study conducted in 2000, the death storage capacity of the reservoir (below 590 feet) has gone down by 53.7 percent and life storage (between 590 and 630 feet) has gone down by 17.16 percent because of siltation.
Overall, the storage capacity of the reservoir has gone down by 27.57 percent.