SAMBALPUR/BHUBANESWAR:A team of experts from World Bank, Central Water Commission (CWC) and Water Resources Department of the State on Tuesday visited the Hirakud Dam site looking for scope for construction of additional spillways to discharge flood water from the reservoir.
The team visited two sites each on both the right dyke and left dyke of the dam. It will submit the proposal over construction of the proposed spillways to the State Government by December. Survey, design and project cost estimate will be done only after approval of the Government, said Chief Engineer, Hirakud Dam Project, Biswajit Mohanty.
Presently, flood water is released through 98 gates of which 64 are sluice gates and 34 are crest gates releasing about 12 lakh cusec of water at a time.
“The CWC has revised the flood water release capacity of all major dams and submitted a proposal for the construction of additional spillways at Hirakud Dam to raise its flood water discharge capacity. After construction of additional spillways, the water discharge capacity will be enhanced to around 18 lakh cusec,” Mohanty said.
He said Sambalapur witnesses flood like situation after water is released through 30 gates of the Dam. Around 8 lakh cusec of water is released. If additional five to six lakh cusec of water can be diverted and released through other sides, flood situation could be avoided.
“The revised hydrology of the Dam has been approved by CWC. The dam safety review panel (DSRP) has suggested construction of additional spillway for which survey is conducted. However, no decision has been taken on the matter so far,” Water Resources Secretary PK Jena said.
The panel has made several recommendations including construction of additional spillways. The expert team will take a decision after examining merits of the recommendations, technical viability, cost involved and other measures required to improve the safety and operation of the dam.
The State Government will take the final decision on the basis of recommendations of the expert team, Jena said.
There are 205 large dams in the State. The Government has decided to improve safety of 38 dams with financial assistance from World Bank amounting to Rs 147.76 crores under Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) scheme within a period of six years (from 2012 to 2018).
In the first phase, five out of 38 dams have been taken up for rehabilitation under DRIP. These dams include Hirakud, Kalo, Nesa, Sanamachhakandana and Banksa. The project development objective is to improve the safety and operational performance of existing large dams.