Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Burla, Oct 10:
With the threat of floods in the Mahanadi river system looming large as a result of heavy rains likely to lash the upper catchment of the river and most parts of Odisha in the wake of Cyclone Hudhud, authorities at the Hirakud dam here opened seven sluice gates this morning.
Three more gates would be opened during the course of the day, dam officials said.
“Going by the IMD prediction that there would be heavy rains in the upper catchments of Mahanadi in the aftermath of the cyclone, we have opened seven gates this morning. We have also decided to open three more gates later in the day,” said chief engineer of Hirakud Dam Biswajeet Mohanty.
“We have to release more water from the dam to maintain the water level in the reservoir in view of the large inflow of water from the upper catchment area to ensure that there is no flood threat in the lower catchments of the river,” he said.
He said that the dam authorities have stuck to the rule curve by maintaining the water level of the dam at its optimum level of 630 feet.
India Meteorological Centre (IMD) has predicted heavy rains from Saturday evening over almost all of Odisha as a result of Cyclone Hudhud, which is expected to have landfall around noon on Sunday.
Heavy rains have also been predicted in the upper catchments of Mahanadi in neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
Meanwhile, the government has also decided to open seven gates of Indravati reservoir, in view of the heavy rains likely to be triggered by the cyclonic storm, SRC Pradipta Mohapatra said in Bhubaneswar.
While the district collectors have been asked to remain on alert, two boats have been sent to Kandhamal in view of the threat of flash flood in the district. Three more boats will be sent to the district soon, Mohapatra said.
Gajapati district collector has also asked to send boats to meet the likely flood, the SRC said.
The government apprehends that Bansadhara, Rusikulya and Nagabali would swell as the southern districts are likely to receive heavy rain following the cyclone.