BHUBANESWAR: Even as there seems to be no possibility of a resolution to the Mahanadi water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh for a long time, construction of barrages by the neighbouring State on the river and its tributaries has started affecting the flow of water into Odisha.
The inflow into Hirakud reservoir for December, 2016 was 0.123 million acre feet (macft) which was 33 per cent less than average of the last 10 years inflow during the month. In a letter to the Special Secretary, Water Resources Department, the Chief Engineer and Basin Manager, Upper Mahanadi Basin, Burla has warned that if this trend continues, Hirakud reservoir will suffer from non-monsoon flow availability.
However, going by the data furnished by the Chief Engineer in the letter, inflow of Mahanadi water into the Hirakud reservoir has steadily decreased after 2010. In 2010, the inflow into the reservoir was 0.225 macft.
But during subsequent years, the inflow was 0.115 macft, 0.129 macft, 0.212 macft, 0.167 macft and 0.088 macft in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. In fact, the inflow increased in December, 2016 compared to the previous year when it was at an all time low of 0.088 macft.
The letter warned that this year, Chhattisgarh Government has started impounding newly constructed barrages across Mahanadi which are at Samdoga, Sheorinarayan, Basantapur, Mironi, Saradhi and Kalma. The Chief Engineer said Kalma is the last barrage constructed at the threshhold of the Hirakud reservoir.
The average rainfall in the catchment of Upper Mahanadi Basin was 1075.59 mm while it was 1065.47 mm in downstream basin below the Hirakud dam during the monsoon between June and October, 2016. Total inflow received during the monsoon in 2016 was 16.672 macft at Hirakud dam, he added.