MALKANGIRI: Even as the unchecked flow of water from Chitrakonda reservoir to Andhra Pradesh has been plugged, serious lapses on the part of Balimela Dam Project authorities for the crisis have surfaced as per an investigation.
Engineers of Balimela Dam Project on Friday successfully stopped the unchecked flow of water from the reservoir which had resulted in fast receding of water level in the reservoir, raising questions over power generation at OHPC-run Balimela Power House getting hit in summer months.
Potteru Irrigation Project (PIP) Chief Construction Engineer Bibhuti Bhusan Mishra said the unchecked water flow through Andhra tunnel gate on the reservoir side now has come down to 150 cusec from 7000 cusec. Around 5000 bags packed with straw were placed in the two vents of Stop log gate, where water enters into the emergency Andhra tunnel gate before flowing downstream, to check the water flow.
Mishra, who took up the investigation into the issue on direction of the district Collector, hinted at several lapses made by the Balimela Dam Project Executive Engineer which led to the present situation. “The decision of the Executive Engineer to enhance water flow from 1300 cusec to 7000 cusec to the AP tunnel gate in January on the basis of a letter written by his Upper Silleru counterpart was unilateral. The Executive Engineer should have either informed his higher authorities or the members of the joint water body comprising officials of both Odisha and Andhra. An emergency joint water body meeting could also have been convened to take a final call on inter-state issue,” he said.
It has led to another crisis cropping up. As part of its share, Andhra Pradesh should get 2.5 TMC water by the end of this month. But it has failed to get its share due to release of high volume of water in a short period.
“We have to release 2500 cusec every day to enable Andhra to get its share. We are exploring all options in this regard,” said Mishra. Now, the water level of the reservoir stands at 2.5 ft against 12 ft before water flow was increased. Meanwhile, Mishra said he would submit his report to the Collector on Monday.
Free water flow from Chitrakonda project
nBalimela Dam Project Executive Engineer increased water flow from 1300 cusec to 7000 cusec
bags packed with straw placed in two vents to stop the water flow
150 cusec present water flow
water needs to be released daily to meet Andhra’s share
present level of reservoir water