Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Sep 15:
Robotised photo survey of Odisha’s Hirakud reservoir will start in December to check the health of the dam walls and ever-receding storage capacity.
“New Delhi-based CSMRS has been given a work order to carry out the survey and Rs 20 lakh has been budgeted for the same. We are unable to carry out the survey as the water of the dam is quite muddy during this season. The robotised photo survey would be carried out during December-January when the water condition improves,” said Executive Engineer of Dam Yosabanta Parida.
It may be noted that the 58 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.
Besides, 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 remain and it is feared that these holes might lead to larger cracks.