Sambalpur/Bhubaneswar: With the water level of the Hirakud dam flowing over 621 feet, almost near the optimum mark of 630 feet, the dam authorities opened 16 gates on Thursday.
Principal Secretary of Water Resources, Pradip Jena informed that the two gates of the dam were opened at 11.30 am while the remaining 14 gates were opened by 1 pm in phases to release excess floodwater.
Stating that the water level of the dam has to be kept within 620 feet by August 21 as per the rule curve, he said if necessary, more gates will be opened to maintain the desired water level of the dam.
The State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC) said the water level of the dam at 9 am Thursday was 621.67 feet. The inflow of floodwater was 2,58,318 cusecs per second and the outflow was 15,294 cusecs for per second.
Besides, the discharge of floodwater at Khairmal was 3.35 lakh cusecs per second, while it was 5,18,250 cusecs per second at Barmul and 8,80,590 cusecs per second at Mundali barrage.
The Water Resources secretary, however, assured media persons that the opening of the 16 dam gates won’t trigger any major flood in Mahanadi. “By the time the floodwater from the dam will reach Mundali barrage in around 30-32 hours, the present floodwater being discharged from the Mundali will have passed through the lower catchments. Since there is no rainfall in the lower catchments in the last 48 hours, the floodwater released from the dam will not pose any serious flood threat in the downstream of Mahanadi,” he said.
Notably, the dam authorities had opened gate no-7 at 11.24 am on Wednesday. However, they closed the gate after three hours considering the flood situation in the lower catchments.