Sambalpur: The locals of Sambalpur district will enjoy the benefits of second spillway on Hirakud Dam by the end of 2023. Water Resources Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena disclosed that construction of the second spillway (gate for release of flood water) at Hirakud Dam is underway.
Tender for the project is over and Tata Consulting Engineers, which bagged the order, has begun the construction work. In a bid to ensure safety and reduce the pressure of flood water, an additional spillway is constructed on the Hirakud Dam. The additional spillway will enhance the flood water discharge capacity of the dam.
Approximately Rs 500 crores will be spent for the project for which World Bank has funded Rs 369.59 crore and it is expected that the project will be completed within 36 months.
The design has been prepared by the design and research department of the Central Water Commission.
“An additional spillway was a long-drawn demand for enhancing the water discharge capacity of the dam during high flood. We are building a new spillway on the right bank of the Hirakud Dam to address that concern,” said NK Mathur, member design and research department of Central Water Commission (CWC).
Hirakud dam has 64 sluice gates and 34 crest gates for releasing 15 lakh cusecs of flood water.
The 91-meter long spillway will have 4 sluice gates. The second spillway will increase the capacity of flood water releasing to 18 lakh cusecs.
“When Hirakud Dam was built, the model was based on the then available technology. Now new methods have emerged. It has been discovered that during the maximum flood, the existing spillway of Hirakud Dam is not sufficient. It needs to be expanded,” said Jena.
“If it is built, it will help during high flood. The two spillways can be used for flood water release, whenever required,” Jena added.
The dam is built across the Mahanadi river, about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Sambalpur. Then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had inaugurated it January 13, 1957. Power generation along with agricultural irrigation started in 1956. The dam achieved full potential in 1966.
Locals, who had protested against the project, have given their consent after the administration assured them of ‘rehabilitation and resettlement’. A colony for the displaced is being constructed at Mohammadpur near the dam with the provision of adequate financial assistance for future residents.
“Two patches of land have been identified for the displaced locals, following which leveling and other processes are underway. There are minor problems which will be resolved soon after which the construction work will commence,” Sambalpur Collector said.