Odisha To Witness Medium-Scale Flood In Mahanadi: SRC

Bhubaneswar: Warning of a medium-scale flood in Mahanadi river system, the Odisha government on Sunday put the Collectors of several districts and directed officials to carry out necessary evacuation and rehabilitation measures wherever necessary.

After reviewing the possible flood situation following incessant rainfall in many parts of the state and Chhattisgarh and in the past few days, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said that the peak flood water in Mahanadi river is expected pass through Mundali barrage near Cuttack by Monday afternoon.

SRC reviewed the possible flood situation with senior officers of the department of Water Resources, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and Fire Services.

Jena said that a medium flood, similar to the one witnessed in Mahanadi in August 2019, is expected to occur in the river following heavy downpour in the upper catchment as well as downstream areas.

“Mahanadi river basin is likely to witness the peak flood when the water released from Hirakud reaches Mundali. Around 10 lakh to 10.50 lakh cusecs of flood water is likely to pass through Mundali around Monday afternoon,” the SRC said.

Noting that around 9.56 lakh cusec of water was now flowing in Mahanadi near Khairmal, Jena said it has been decided to manage the flow by releasing excess water through 34 sluice gates of the Hirakud dam. “Though it was earlier proposed to open up to 40 sluice gates, now we want to manage the situation by maintaining it at 34 gates,” he said.

The water level at Hirakud now stands at 616.8 feet as against the full reservoir level of 630 feet, Jena said adding some increase in the water level will not create much problem.

The Water Resources department has been put on alert and senior engineers have been sent to different districts in order to monitor the situation and take all preventive measures. The authorities in districts like Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda Puri, Nayagarh and Cuttack have been alerted in view of the flood situation to monitor river embankments.

They have been asked to undertake evacuation from low lying areas wherever necessary and shift people to safe locations in vulnerable places, he said adding arrangements will be made for providing food and other necessities at the shelter centres.

Already 7 teams of ODRAF, 3 teams of NDRF and 12 teams of Fire Services department have been mobilised in these districts as a preventive measure, the SRC said.

Meanwhile, the well-marked low pressure area over the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a depression, raising the likelihood of enhanced rainfall in different parts of Odisha, while upper catchment areas of Mahanadi river in neighbouring Chhattisgarh are also being battered by heavy rains.

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