Bhubaneswar: With all major rivers in spate due to the depression induced heavy rainfall across the state, Odisha government Wednesday expected a medium flood in the Mahanadi river system which has led to the opening of more sluice gates of the Hirakud Reservoir.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said that the government expected a low to medium flood in the Mahanadi river system as the upper catchment areas in Chhattisgarh received heavy rainfall due to the depression which crossed Odisha on Tuesday.
Jena said 18 sluice gates have been opened to release additional water from Hirakud, in which 3.5 lakh cusec of water entered Wednesday compared to 1.5 lakh cusec Tuesday.
He said about 2.98 lakh of cusec water is entering into Hirakud dam every second while 2.25 lakh cusec is being discharged now. The volume of water discharge may increase in order to maintain 628 feet water level at the reservoir.
“If required more gates will be opened according to the Rule Curve to maintain the dam,” he said as it has been decided to maintain water level at Hiradud reservoir at 628 feet against its full reservoir capacity of 630 feet.
The state’s deficient rainfall ratio between June 1 and August 31, which was minus 30.3 per cent, September 15 stood at minus 8.8 per cent due to the depression induced heavy rainfall, an official said.
The water resources department and district authorities in the downstream of Mahanadi have been kept on full alert. “We expect a low to medium flood to pass through Mahanadi at Mundali near Cuttack. About 7 lakh cusec of flood water is expected to flow through Mundali barrage,” Jena said.
The district administrations are taking measures to ensure that the flood does not cause much damage in the delta area. Men and machineries are being kept in readiness to manage the situation. Engineers of the water resources department are keeping a close watch on the vulnerable river embankments so that there is no breach in them when the medium flood passes through the Mahanadi river.
“The volume of water discharge near Mundali is likely to increase to 7 lakh cusec in the next 36 hours after the fresh water being discharged through additional six gates reach here,” D K Samal, the engineer-in-chief of the water resources department said.
Two rivers- Jalaka at Mathani and Baitarani near Akhuapada are flowing above their danger levels, he said.
Sources in the water resources department said that a total seven rivers are in spate in the state due to the incessant rains on Monday and Tuesday. The water level of Mahanadi is increasing at Naraj and Devi river is swelling near Alipingala, Ib is in spate at Sundargarh and the water level of Brahmani is rising at Jenapur and Panposh.
The Subarnarekha river is swelling near Rajghat and Jamsolaghat, while Budhabalanga is in the spate near national highway number 5. The Vansadhara river is swelling near Kashinagar, they said
Jena said three breaches have been reported on the embankment of Brahmani river in Jajpur district and some agricultural land has been flooded in Khurda district.
A report from Mayurbhanj district said that over 1500 people of Dangasahi village in Thakurmunda block are marooned as the bamboo bridge over Salandi river which connects the village has been washed away after the heavy rain.
A bridge at Binika on Mahuda-Bahupali road was submerged leading to communication disruption in the area. The flood water is currently flowing 5 ft over the bridge.
The state government has received reports of water logging in several areas due to the devastating rain. “Though there is no flood in the rivers, all water bodies in the nooks and corners in the state are filled with rainwater causing havoc. More than two dozen villages across the state remained marooned, including 20 in Koraput district alone,” the SRC said.
The heavy rain has hit over 21 lakh people in 21 districts and left at least four people dead due to wall collapse and drowning, Jena said adding that two more people, one in Cuttack and another in Bolangir district, are missing after drowning.
Jena said that as per preliminary reports 3,839 houses have been damaged and about 1.30 lakh hectares of agricultural land are submerged in the rain water. The district administrations have been instructed to submit damage assessment report by September 22, following which the affected people could be given assistance.
Sources in the SRC office said that the state during last 24 hours recorded an average of 17.1 mm rainfall. Sundergarh received the highest rainfall of 62.6 mm, followed by 48.9 mm at Jharsuguda, 40.9 mm at Jagastsinghpur, 33.7 mm at Deogarh,32.3 mm at Bargarh and 30.1 mm at Balasore.
Other districts received less than 30 mm of rainfall in the last 24 hours, it said.
While five blocks have received rainfall above 100 mm, 23 blocks got rainfall within 50 mm to 100 mm.