Water level of Ayodhya Sarovar, an artificial lake created to store water from river Mahanadi, has gone down drastically with the wooden planks at the base of its sluice gate giving away.
Constructed in mid-1960s by the Irrigation wing of Agriculture department, the Sarovar was named after the then Governor of Odisha Ayodhyanath Khosla. Prior to the commissioning of Greater Sambalpur Drinking Water Project, the PHED was drawing water from the Sarovar and supplying it after treatment to the entire town.
Since Hirakud dam reservoir is situated upstream and water is released from it only during monsoon, water stored in the anicut forming the Sarovar helps people meet their needs for domestic chores. However, with the breach in the sluice gate of the anicut, thousands of people of the town are facing inconvenience.
There are six sluice gates in the anicut which is around 1.7 km long. While two sluice gates are installed towards the town, three are set up in the middle of the anicut and two are located on the other side. The wooden plank of one of the sluice gates in the middle of the anicut has broken down which has led to release of the stored water from the Sarovar.
Earlier, the sluice gates were made of wooden planks and in subsequent years, the top parts of the gates were replaced with steel. The lower half continued to be in wood. Sources said pressure of the steel led to weakening of the wooden planks. Besides, there has been no regular maintenance of the sluice gates or the anicut.
Admitting that pumping out the water has been affected with the turbine pump malfunctioning due to low level of water, PHED SDO AK Satpathy said they are facing problems in supplying drinking water to the town.
Satpathy further informed that they have apprised the Irrigation wing about the problem.
The Executive Engineer of Irrigation wing Prabhas Pattnaik said they have decided to replace the wooden plank with steel ones and requisition for it has already been made.