Chitrakonda: The rising water level in Balimela reservoir here in Malkangiri district has posed a threat to the newly-built Gurupriya bridge, considered as the lifeline to the people of more than 150 villages of the cut-off region of the district.
The water level in the reservoir was recorded at 1,512.70 feet in the morning and it was going up constantly due to incessant rain of the last two months, according to a report.
The water retaining capacity of the reservoir is 1,518 feet.
At present the water has touched the bottom of the Gurupriya bridge at Janbai, sources said.
Meanwhile, two gates of the dam were opened in the morning to ensure safety of the reservoir. But opening of more gates would result in overflowing of the bridge, feared the locals.
In the meantime, Chitrakonda tehsildar Phalguni Majhi has issued advisories for the locals in the wake of release of water from the reservoir. The administration, through public address system, has asked people not to release their farm animals for grazing to the pasture lands while the fishermen have been asked not to venture into the river for fishing. People have been cautioned against taking travelling by boat in the river.
According to reports, the two gates of the dam were opened in the presence of Collector Manish Agrwal, Balimela-Poteru irrigation project’s chief executive engineer Bijay Kumar Kalta, tehsildar Majhi and other government officials.
While Agrawal said there would be no threat to the people, Kalta said the gates were opened to bring down the water level to 1,512 feet.
As the gates of the dam were not opened for a long time, people were seen queuing up to witness the scene.