Bhubaneswar: With the water level in Hirakud Dam rising due to incessant rain in upper catchments of Mahanadi river, the authorities opened 20 gates on Thursday to release excess water from the reservoir.
The situation in west Odisha returned to normalcy after heavy rainfall and flash floods crippled life three days ago, affecting over 2.96 people 1951 villages and 9 urban areas of 39 blocks spread over 11 districts, officials said.
Necessary steps are being taken to ensure that the flood situation is contained in Mahanadi river downstream, Water Resources Secretary, P K Jena said. To control flood situation and to reduce the net impact at Munduli in Cuttack, it has been decided to ensure that water flow at Munduli is maintained at around 5 lakh cusec, Jena said.
"Opening of sluice gates of Hirakud dam is being done accordingly so that the water level of the reservoir is kept between 619 feet and 620 ft by August 21 as against the full reservoir capacity of 630 feet," he said.
Twenty of the 64 sluice gates of Hirakud Dam were opened on Thursday to release excess water a day after one gate was opened on Wednesday for a few hours to discharge the first flood waters of the season. Huge volume of water was not released from Hirakud on Wednesday in view of the flood situation downstream.
The water-level of Hirakud stood 621.85 feet against the full storage capacity of 630 ft at 6 pm, while inflow at the dam was 1,95,020 cusecs and outflow 3,31,956 cusecs,
Special Relief Commissioner's (SRC) office said. Discharge of water at Khairmal was 2,86,500 cusec, while it was 3,75,625 cusec at Barmul and 6,62,000 cusec at Munduli in Cuttack, it said.
The water level of Mahanadi river stood at 25.75 metre at Naraj and 10.95 metre at Alipingal at 6 pm, much below the danger levels of 26.41 metre and 11.76 metre respectively at these two places, it said.
The state had on Wednesday alerted the administrations in 11 districts about a "medium" flood in Mahanadi river and its distributaries as around 11.5 lakh cusec of flood water was expected to be discharged at Mundali in Cuttack on Thursday morning.
Though the volume of water flow in Mahanadi river has been much less than anticipated earlier, a close watch is being maintained and the situation is being monitored constantly, an official said.
Cuttack district Collector Bhabani Charan Chaini said some low lying areas in Tigiria were submerged by water for sometime, but the overall situation is almost normal.
The SRC said the district administrations of Bolangir, Subarnapur, Boudh, Angul, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Kendrapada and Jajpur have been asked to remain prepared to deal with any situation.
Sethi said the collectors of the 11 districts have been asked to activate district emergency operation centres and control rooms of different departments which should function round the clock.
As many as 15 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and three NDRF teams have been deployed in those districts. Fire service teams are also ready for search, rescue and evacuation operations.
Special relief boats available at different places in the districts should be kept ready with crew for rescue and flood relief operations.