Sambalpur: Experts have expressed concern as the water level of Hirakud Dam has been on a depleting trend over past couple of months. The water level has reached 625.31 ft.
According to sources, water level this year has decreased by about 3 ft. It is apprehended that if such an alarming trend continues, it could lead to scarcity of water in the state.
This could also give rise to a shortage in power production and affect agricultural as well as industrial activities. Notably, water level of Hirakud Dam reservoir had reached the deadline of 598 ft during last rainy season for delay in the arrival of the monsoon.
Experts have not ruled out such a possibility this year. For the ongoing power production, 4,100 cusecs of water flows down every second, thereby producing 3,200 megawatt of electricity in this hydropower generation station. Similarly, 350 cusecs of water into Sasan canal and 3,000 cusecs into Bargarh canal is being fed these days.
It is known that water level of Hirakud Dam reservoir, during the period in February in 2018 was 622.89 ft and in 2019 was it was 621.11 ft only. Water level went down towards June last year which led to acute water crisis in the entire state.
Reacting to this, superintending engineer of Hirakud Dam Bhakta Charan Mohanty said, “The acute shortage of water was due to delay in arrival of monsoon last year. However, we have had good rainfall during rainy season this year. The existing water level is not alarming and may not impact much during coming summer”.
Worthy to note, Burla powerhouse has the hydropower generation capacity of 275.5 megawatt and Chipilima has a capacity of 72 megawatt for which 13,500 cusecs outflow of water is needed from the reservoir. Sasan canal has the capacity to release 650 cusecs of water against which only 350 cusecs is being released.
Notably, from horizon to horizon Hirakud Dam reservoir forms the largest artificial lake in Asia with an area of 746 sq km and a shore line of over 640 km. The dam which is built across the river Mahanadi about 15 km from Sambalpur town, is India’s largest soil-based dam.