SAMBALPUR: A three-member team from the Central Soil and Material Research Station (CSMRS), under the Union Water Resources Ministry, on Monday began scanning the upstream face of Hirakud Dam looking for cracks. The team will also ascertain the present condition of the cracks and make an assessment based on it.
The team will record the cracks underwater and analyse the visual with the help of Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The three-member team is led by Alex Varghese, head of the department of Engineering Geophysics, and comprises scientists Birendra Pratap and Shivcharan.
Executive Engineer of Hirakud Dam Project Jashobanta Parida said the ROV has already been released into the Hirakud Dam Reservoir (HDR) and is being controlled and operated by the team from a cabin set up near the HDR. The ROV will videograph the upstream face of the dam and take photographs of the cracks which will help in ascertaining the present condition of the cracks in the dam. He said that the team is likely to take about a month to complete the scanning on the upstream face of the dam.
The CSMRS team will examine the present condition of the wide cracks and the development in the fine cracks. The team will also scan the new cracks, if any, in the entire upstream face of the Hirakud dam, Parida said.
Some wide cracks and fine cracks were noticed in the concrete portion of spillway of Hirakud Dam in the 1990s. The Hirakud Dam Cracks Review Panel and Dam Safety Review Panel had suggested treatment of the wide cracks. Subsequently, the wide cracks were treated in the year 1999. However, the fine cracks had not been treated at that time, Parida said.
After analysing the visuals obtained using the ROV, the team will suggest ways to treat the cracks and ensure safety of the dam. The team is scheduled to submit its report to the Water Resource department and the Hirakud Dam Authority.