The Hirakud dam authorities heaved a sigh a relief as the water level of the reservoir reached 595.67 feet mark on Saturday evening.
The water level in the reservoir had slipped to below 595 feet mark since June 13. This had put both the industries and the farmers in a quandary as water could not be released from the reservoir for manufacturing and irrigation purposes according to the norms.
As per a circular issued by Engineer-in-Chief, Water Resources, in 2008, industries are prohibited from drawing water from the reservoir if the water level goes down to 595 feet. However, industries located on the periphery of the dam continued to draw water without stopping production.
Apprehending that it would affect irrigation through Sambalpur distributary, Bargarh canal and Sason canal, Executive Engineer, Hirakud Dam Project, Rabindra Kumar Panda cautioned the industries that they would be slapped with six times penalty if they draw water from the reservoir.
On Friday, the water level went up to 595.67 feet. The average inflow into the dam was 23,536 cusec while 0.76 mm of rainfall had been recorded in the upstream catchment areas. Panda said if the average inflow continues, the water level will go up by one foot in next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the rise in water level has also boosted power generation in Burla power house which had virtually been stopped. While 27.125 MW of power is being generated in Power House I at Burla, 18.958 MW is generated in Power House II at Chiplima. Similarly, there has been rise in release of water into the canals for irrigation with 3327 cusec being released to Bargarh canal, 500 cusec to Sason canal and 61 cusec to Sambalpur distributary.