The State Government has set a target to increase the heights and length of embankments of all major rivers in the State in next two years. About Rs 700 crore will be spent in this regard.
According to official sources, the State can combat floods to a great extent if the heights of the river embankments are increased. Hence the heights will be raised by about four feet.
The sources said the State Government spends more than Rs 500 crore now to strengthen the river embankments at vulnerable points. Beds of most of the rivers are silted and are unable to bear additional water which causes flood.
If repairs are completed in time, major rivers including Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarani can carry about 14 to 15 lakh cusec water.
The Government has taken 2011 flood as the bench mark for increasing the height of river embankments.
Floods in Mahanadi, Baitarani and Brahmani delta areas had caused massive damage in 2011.
The sources further said 234 and 56 breaches created by floods in 2011 and 2012 respectively had been repaired. While weak river embankments have been identified in 310 places, 35 of them are highly sensitive to flood.
Odisha experiences flood almost every year. In the past five years, 273 persons have died in floods, the sources said.