Flood-like situation emerges in Odisha amid heavy rainfall
A flood-like situation has emerged in Odisha following incessant rains in various parts of the state including the upper catchment area of the Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh. Mahanadi has breached the danger level in many parts triggering an alarm.
However, the state government is trying to minimise the impact of the flood by regulating the flow of water using the gates of the Hirakud Reservoir.
Currently, 10.1 lakh cusecs of water per second are passing through Mundali barrage, located near Cuttack city. The water resources department closed the eight gates of Hirakud Reservoir.
On Sunday, 34 gates were opened. The water level was inching towards crossing the danger level at Mundali. The water level of various tributaries of Mahanadi including the Devi river crossed danger levels at various points.
The water also entered various offices including the superintendent of police (SP) office of the Boudh district. Water also entered the Maa Bhattarika Temple at Banki. The presiding deity of the temple has been shifted to another site. The water level at Hirakud Reservoir is continuously rising. The water level at the dam reached 621 feet against its full capacity of 630 feet.
Special relief commissioner (SRC) P.K. Jena said: “On Sunday, heavy rainfall was reported in three river basins — Mahanadi, Tel and Indravati. 368mm rainfall was reported at the Thuamul Rampur block in Kalahandi. 200 to 300mm rainfall was reported in seven blocks. 51 blocks reported rainfall of around 100 to 200mm. The upper catchment area of Mahanadi including Chhattisgarh reported heavy rainfall. The inflow of water into the Hirakud Reservoir has increased. The inflow to the Hirakud was reported at 8.5 lakh cusecs per second. It would cross 9 lakh cusecs per second. The water discharged by the Tel river in the Mahanadi river system has substantially increased and currently, 4 lakh cusecs of water per second is being discharged in the Mahanadi river system.”
Jena said: “We are trying to lessen the impact of the flood by regulating the outflow of water from Hirakud reservoir by closing down eight gates. If we don’t close the gates, the water flow would reach 12.5 lakh cusecs per second at Mundali. By Tuesday, the water flow at Mundali is likely to reach 11 lakh cusecs per second,” Jena said, adding that there would be no flood in the Indravati basin.
He said: “The state government has deployed National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire brigade personnel in Cuttack, Khurda, Puri, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts.”
Water also entered agricultural land causing serious damage to the vegetable and paddy crops. While the state government is battling hard to tackle the situation, another low pressure that is likely to form over the northwest Bay of Bengal around August 19, has raised serious concern.
While a flood threat looms in coastal Odisha, reports of water levels rising in rivers in other parts of the state have come.
There was heavy rain reported in the Kalahandi district. Many parts of the district were disconnected from the headquarters of the district. Water also entered many pockets of Dasaratha block because of the rise of water level in the Kani river.
Water resources minister Tukuni Sahu on Sunday rushed to the Mundali barrage to inspect the state’s preparedness. “We are monitoring the flood situation. We have taken adequate measures to face the situation arising out of the flood,” said Sahu.