MALKANGIRI: More than a month has passed since the emergency tunnel gate in Chitrakonda was opened to release water to enable Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGENCO) carry out renovation in the downstream of the dam. But water is flowing out unchecked as the roller bearer of the gate is not working, while technical teams from Odisha have failed to regulate the water flow at the tunnel gate which was opened after almost 45 years in January.
Though a five-member, team led by Dam Security Director Pradipta Kumar Das and Bhubaneswar-based Chief Construction Engineer (Mechanical) of Water Resources department Asit Chandra Mohanty visited Andhra Pradesh tunnel gate in the reservoir on Tuesday, they failed to check the unregulated flow. The team decided to put pressure at the stoplog gate through which water enters the tunnel to regulate the flow, sources said.
On the other hand, the proposal for replacement of the defunct roller bearer worth more than `70 lakh is yet to be sanctioned by the State Government. Similarly, the Government is yet to conduct a probe into the lapses by the Balimela Dam Project authorities which have resulted in the receding of water level in the reservoir. This apart, power generation at OHPC-run Balimela unit is likely to be affected as water level of the reservoir has come down drastically.
As per the agreement between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, water of the reservoir is shared on 50:50 ratio every year. Andhra Pradesh has already drawn 13.4118 thousand million cubic (TMC) excess water by the end of January. The net excess water drawn by Andhra Pradesh from July last year to January stands at 1.6693 TMC and overall net excess water by the end of January this year is 28.4304 TMC. The Andhra Pradesh Government will take 7.4 TMC water to achieve its 50 per cent target which will come to an end by March 8, said Balimela Dam Project Executive Engineer Adhikary Sailendra Narayan Dash.
Sources said in January alone, Andhra Pradesh has drawn 15.9265 TMC water, while Odisha has drawn 25.147 TMC water. The grand total quantity of water available in the reservoir by January this year was 44.0000 TMC of which the share of Odisha stands at 36.2152 TMC followed by AP at 7.7848 TMC. The reservoir will be left with only 16 TMC water by June this year against 33 TMC required to run the Balimela power house.
Balimela Dam Project officials said APGENCO has been requested to release 3.5 TMC more generated recharge water amounting to 24 TMC apart from its 2.5 TMC every month from Machhkund reservoir through the Spillway of Jalaput dam to meet the power generation at OHPC-run Balimela power house. Odisha gets 30 per cent water share from Machhkund reservoir every year.