Season’s First Flood Water Released By Hirakud Dam

14 August 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: As scheduled earlier by the Odisha Government keeping in view the heavy rainfall for the last few days in the upper catchment areas as well as flash floods in the tributary rivers, Hirakud Dam authorities in consultation with the Water Resources Department today released its first flood water of this rainy season.

The flood water was released at 11 am today after solemnizing the traditional religious rituals by the Hirakud Dam authorities.

Taking precautionary measures due to swollen rivers downstream, the authorities have symbolically released the flood water from the reservoir through only one gate, i.e. Sluice Gate No 7.

Talking to media here, Odisha Water Resources Secretary P.K. Jena said, “Keeping in view a medium level flood situation downstream, we wouldn’t release the amount of water earlier planned. Symbolically one gate will be opened for some hours and closed. Later basing on our calculation how much more time Hirakud Dam water level could be managed and the condition of downstream, we will be taking further decision on releasing more flood water from the reservoir.’

He explained, “The main aim and objective of Hirakud Dam is flood control. As there is a medium level flood like situation downstream, we don’t think it wise to release much flood water from Hirakud Dam and worsen the situation. There is still space in the Hirakud water reservoir. Now the water level is 618. 5 feet. Hence, we can easily wait for one-two days more. Despite the increase in inflow from the upper level, Hirakud Dam has still the capacity to store water.”

“We want that the flood in the downstream is moderate and does not heighten. Flood control is the main objective of Hirakud Dam. Waiting for one-two more days, we will calculate and take further decision when to release flood water and the number of gates to be opened in future,” opined the Water Resources Secretary. 

Engineer-in-Chief of Water Resources Department had yesterday informed that a sluice gate will be opened on experimental basis and will be closed soon. There is no need for people to panic as it will have no impact on the ongoing flood situation, he added.

However, Collectors and SPs of the districts districts in the Mahanadi river basin have been asked to be prepared to deal with possible flood. Besides, all the engineers of Water Resources Department have been asked to stay put at their respective headquarters.

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P.K. Jena, Secretary, Water Resources, Odisha