SAMBALPUR: The Home Department and the Water Resources Department have suggested measures to strengthen the security of Hirakud Dam.
The recommendations from the Government came after Bargarh and Sambalpur district police sent proposals in this regard, said Chief Engineer of Hirakud Dam Project, Harmohan Pradhan.
The departments have agreed with police on addressing security concerns and work on preparing a blue print and estimate has begun, he added. The recommendations will be executed by the dam authorities, he said.
As per the recommendations, more than 50 Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras will be installed at all entry and exit points of the dam. This apart, two watch towers will be set up on either side, Pradhan informed.
Besides, it has been recommended to beef up patrolling and deploy Odisha Industrial Security Force (OISF) at the HDP, he added.
Presently, at least 31 unarmed police personnel of Odisha Police are deployed at the dam site.
The project, inaugurated in 1957, is a major tourist attraction of the State. The total length of the dam, including the main dam, is around 25.8 kms.
Sambalpur SP Akhilesvar Singh said, though police personnel have been deployed for the security of the dam, they are unarmed. There is a need to upgrade the security arrangement at the dam site considering its strategic importance, he added.
Besides security, the stability of the dam had also raised concerns. Towards last month end, Central Soil and Material Research Station (CSMRS), New Delhi, conducted an underwater scanning to ascertain the condition the dam with the help of a Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV). They found the power dam located above power house and left spillway safe.
Some wide cracks and fine cracks were found at the concrete portion of spillway of Hirakud Dam before 1990s.
The Hirakud Dam Cracks Review Panel and Dam Safety Review Panel had suggested for the treatment of the wide cracks. Subsequently, those were treated. The CSMRS had been tasked with assessing the present condition of the cracks, which were repaired.