Flood Fears In Mahanadi: Chhattisgarh Blames Odisha’s Faulty Sluice Gate Management At Hirakud Dam

Bhubaneswar: The long-running tussle between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi river’s waters has cast its shadow over the state government’s efforts to deal with possible flooding in large parts of Odisha.

Odisha has opened 34 sluice gates of the Mahanadi as of Sunday to release excess waters following incessant rain, raising the spectre of a flood.

A day after Hirakud dam’s Chief Engineer Ananda Sahoo accused the neighbouring state of not cooperating in flood management, Chhattisgarh hit back on Sunday, accusing Odisha’s faulty sluice gate management at Hirakud dam for widespread flooding and damage in Chhattisgarh.

“In the past also, such mismanagement has been done by Odisha. Please open the sluice gates… there is a lot of flooding and damage in Chhattisgarh,” Rakesh Kumar Nagaria, Chief Engineer in the Chhattisgarh government, told a private news channel.

Asked about the situation in Mahanadi, data on the river’s water and rainfall report, Nagaria asked the reporter to approach “Odisha’s engineer-in-chief for an answer”.

“Odisha’s engineer-in-chief will reply,” he shot back.

Asked how many cusecs of water was flowing into the Hirakud dam and how many gates should be opened, Nagaria said that Odisha has all the data.

When reminded that Odisha has often complained about lack of data-sharing on Mahanadi’s waters by Chhattisgarh, Nagaria seem to lose his cool and said, “Does Odisha say anything other than complaining. You please speak to officials in Odisha.”

There has been heavy inflow of rainwater from upper catchment areas of Mahanadi in Chhattisgarh prompting Hirakud dam authorities to open 34 sluice gates to release excess water in the reservoir.

Speaking to media persons on Saturday, Sahoo alleged that Chhattisgarh authorities were not informing their Odisha counterparts before opening the sluice gates of the dams over Mahanadi.

As a result, Hirakud dam was receiving heavy inflow without notice forcing the authorities to open the gates. It may lead to flood-like situation in the downstream of the river, he added.

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