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Flood threat: Odisha govt alerts collectors in Mahanadi basin

Press Trust of India  |  Bhubaneswar 

With Hirakud Dam authorities set to discharge more water following heavy rains in the Mahanadi river catchment area, the Odisha SRC

today asked the collectors of 11 districts in its basin to remain alert.

The dam authorities are set to open 25 sluice gates by evening, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.

Hirakud Dam chief engineer J M Rath said the water level in Hirakud reservoir was at 622.31 feet at noon against the full reservoir level of 630 feet due to heavy rainfall in the upper catchment area of Mahanadi river and release of water from certain projects located in neighbouring Chhattishgarh.

While the inflow to Hirakud reservoir is 1.5 lakh cusec per second, the out flow has been about 3.30 lakh cusec, he said.

Sethi said the executive engineers and the water resources department have also been alerted for appropriate action and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been kept on alert.

The districts in the Mahanadi river basin which have been issued flood alerts are Sambalpur, Subarnapur, Boudh, Nayagarh, Angul, Cuttack, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda and Jajpur.

"As Hirakud dam will release about 4 lakh cusec of flood water to the Mahanadi river system per second, the Sambalpur collector has been specifically told to take precautionary action to evacuate people from low-lying areas," he said.

Sethi said the other collectors of districts in the Mahanadi basin system have also been asked to remain in full alert for a flood flow of about 8 lakh cusec water at Munduli near Cuttack, where the water level of Mahanadi river is measured, by Thursday morning.

"This may cause flood situation in different districts coming under the Mahanadi river basin," a communication received from the SRC office said.

The SRC said 6 lakh cusec of water will flow past Munduli from this evening. The water level flow this noon was recorded at 5,30,629 cusec.

Rath said though the authorities have now decided to open 25 gates of the Hirakud dam, it would depend on the flow in Tel river which is adding water to Mahanadi.

"If the discharge of water by Tel river remains constant or decline, we need not open more than 25 gates," he said.

The Hirakud dam chief engineer said the authorities of Ravishankar dam and two other medium irrigation projects in Chhattisgarh have already released additional flood water into Mahanadi.

"We will get that water within 48 hours. Therefore, in order to maintain the water level at Hirakud, more flood water will be released by opening 25 gates," Rath said.

Sethi said in view of the situation, the district collectors have been asked to draw up emergency plan to meet any eventuality.

The Bhadrak district collector, he said, has been put on alert as there were possibilities of flooding in Salandi river.

"The agricultural fields in some gram panchayats under Tihidi block and Bhadrak municipality area are likely to be affected," the SRC added.

Water resources secretary P K Jena said the district collectors have been directed to alert all field functionaries and depute mobile teams to keep an eye on vulnerable and weak river and canal embankments.

They have also been directed to check and ensure readiness of power boats and country boats, identify villages/habitations likely to be inundated and arrange for evacuation of vulnerable population, he added.

"Keep the multi-purpose shelters in readiness, including lighting and sanitation arrangement. Ensure that evacuated people are properly sheltered and given cooked food. Satellite phones should be test operated and kept in readiness," the SRC said in his letter to the collectors.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 28 2018. 18:25 IST