Odisha floods: Weak embankments on Mahanadi river pose breach threat

The flood protection embankments of Mahanadi and its tributary rivers Luna, Chitroptala and Birupa have weakened due to erosion by the swell force of the rivers. 

Published: 19th August 2022 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th August 2022 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

Locals packing a breach in river embankment with sand bags at Sankilo | Express

By Express News Service

CUTTACK:  The flood protection embankments of Mahanadi and its tributary rivers Luna, Chitroptala and Birupa have weakened due to erosion by the swell force of the rivers. The embankments are yet to breach, but multiple pipings (Ghalia) emerging at different vulnerable points has created a panic situation among the riverside villages of Cuttack Sadar, Salepur, Nischintakoili and Mahanga block of the district. More than eight pipings have been created on both sides of the embankments of Luna river, through which floodwater is leaking into the adjacent canals. 

Locals in association with Water Resources department officials have been making efforts to check the big piping on the right side embankment of Luna at Damodarpur on Wednesday afternoon.  Similarly, floodwater is leaking through two pipings created on Luna left embankment at Badathakana in Sarapada gram panchayat and at Sankilo in Kentalo gram panchayat, where locals are keeping a close tab by packing them with sand bags. 

On the other hand, a big piping has been created on the left side embankment of Chitroptala river at Nahalpur under Daudpur gram panchayat where a breach had occured few years back. “We are spending sleepless night as the weak embankments which are in unstable condition at several places are posing threat and a breach may happen any time. Though floodwater has started receding today there is every possibility that breach may occur if further floodwater is released to Mahanadi river system in Cuttack district,” said Nahalpur residents. 

Locals say due to lack of proper maintenance, the floodplains and embankments have eroded. Plying of heavy vehicles for transporting sand too have weakened the embankments.  Assistant Executive Engineer Akshya Kumar Mallik said efforts were on to arrest the pipings and strengthen the vulnerable points. 


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