Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Sep 21:
With heavy rains in the upper catchment of River Mahanadi in the last two days resulting in increased inflow of water into the Hirakud Dam in Odisha’s Sambalpur district, dam authorities today opened 13 more sluice gates taking the total number gates opened for release of flood water so far to 15.
Talking to the media today, dam authorities said they opened six gates in the morning and seven more in the afternoon today to discharge flood water from the reservoir. Two gates of the dam were opened yesterday.
“Since there are no rains downstream of Hirakud, opening of gates won’t have any effect downstream. With good rains in the upper catchment in the last two days, there has been increased inflow of water into the reservoir. We are discharging that excess flow after maintaining our desired water level in the reservoir. Since we don’t have space in the reservoir, we have planned to discharge the flood water. We are collecting data every three hours while analyzing and monitoring the situation. If it rains more, we may be required to open more gates. As per the IMD’s prediction there will be a fall in the rainfall in the upper catchment from today onwards; so it may not be required. There was IMD warning for today only. Currently, the situation is well within our control. At present, the water level in the reservoir stands at 628.06 ft.”, said Rabindra Panda, superintendent engineer, Hirakud Dam.
“We won’t allow water level to rise. That’s why we have opened 13 more gates today, which will take the total number of gates opened to 15. We are planning to discharge 2, 61,000 cusecs through power channels and sluice gates all combined,” he added .