Sambalpur, Oct 22:
Taking the approaching Cyclone Phailin into account, the dam authorities had reduced the water level in the reservoir by nine feet to avert any possible danger of flood in the lower catchments due to torrential rains in the upper catchment area of the reservoir under the impact of the cyclonic storm.
“This is for the first time in the history of the dam that the authorities reduced the water level in the month of October which is supposed to be the most crucial from irrigation point of view,” said chief engineer of the dam Biswajeet Mohanty.
The water level of the reservoir had touched nearly 630 feet on October 1. Through regular monitoring, the dam authorities here kept the level at 629.67 feet up to October 8.
The authorities had decided to decrease the water level as the Met department had forecast heavy rain from October 8 in view of the Cyclone Phailin on October 12.
By discharging water through 22 sluice gates, the water level was brought down to 628.56 feet on October 9 and 621.31 feet on October 12.
“We decided to close all the gates allowing inflow water to be stored again,” Mohanty said, adding that at the same time, the damn officials were watchful on rain in upper catchments.
“Water level started increasing from October 13 again and it finally reached 630 feet, the maximum capacity of the reservoir,” Mohanty informed.