BHUBANESWAR: The state government has roped in IIT, Guwahati for physical and mathematical modelling study for the rejuvenation of the Brahmani river delta. Brahmani, the second largest river of Odisha, forms with the confluence of Sankha and South Koel rivers and flows through the districts of Sundargarh, Deogarh, Angul, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Jajpur and Kendrapara.
While Odisha has the maximum 57 per cent of the river’s catchment area, Jharkhand has 40 per cent and Chhattisgarh three per cent. A dam has been constructed in Rengali at 130 km of the river while a barrage at Samal is about 35 km downstream of Rengali dam.
The water released from the Samal barrage as well as from the intermediate catchment flows into the deltaic area at Pankapal and then it bifurcates into two arms - Brahmani to the right and Kharsuan to the left. Finally, Kharsuan River confluences with Brahmani at Madhusudanpur and joins Baitarani ultimately meeting the Bay of Bengal at Dhamra.
The Brahmani delta is the site of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, famous for its estuarine crocodiles. Since Kharsuan draws a major chunk of flow as the bed of Brahmani is at a higher level, it results in continuous siltation and gets less or no flow even during the medium flood as well as non-monsoon periods. It has been proposed to ensure flow in both rivers by taking up rejuvenation works through the construction of integrated in-stream storage at Jenapur and Jokadia.
Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu said the collaboration with IIT, Guwahati will help in technical study in connection with the construction of proposed in-stream storage in the rivers which will ultimately ensure water availability to the people of the area.
Development commissioner and additional chief secretary of the department Anu Garg said this is one of the important MoUs signed in recent times to study the siltation in a river system while taking steps for rejuvenation works through the construction of storage facilities. An MoU has been signed between engineer-in-chief Bhakta Ranjan Mohanty and Prof Sibasish Dutta from IIT, Guwahati for the comprehensive study.