Even as the Hirakud Dam authorities released the season’s first floodwaters from the reservoir on Wednesday which is likely to cause medium floods in the river Mahanadi and distributaries, the Collectors of 13 districts were asked to stay alert to combat any eventuality.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi asked the Collectors of Balangir, Boudh, Subarnapur, Nayagarh, Khordha, Cuttack, Angul, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada and Jajpur districts to take necessary steps to combat possible floods.
The floodwaters from the Hirakud Dam were released at 11.24 am through sluice gate No.7 following rituals.
The water level at the reservoir stood at 618.21 feet against a total storage capacity of 630 feet. The water inflow into the dam was 1,40,784 cusec and the outflow 16,844 cusec.
The SRC said 12 ODRAF teams and three NDRF teams have been deployed in the districts.
The Collectors have been asked to deploy Fire Services teams in the respective districts assist in evacuation operations. This apart, leaves of all officers and staffs have been asked to meet any kind of exigency.
Besides, the Collectors have been instructed to immediately activate District Emergency Operation Centres and Control Rooms of different departments round the clock. “All cyclone and flood shelters in the areas should be immediately checked and made ready to house the evacuees. Special relief boats available in the districts should be kept ready with crew for rescue and relief operations,” the SRC said.
Water Resources Secretary PK Jena said, “We expect that 10.5 lakh cusec to 11 lakh cusec water would pass through the Mundali barrage in Cuttack late night today.
There is nothing much to worry as the river embankments are strong enough to accommodate this much quantity of water. A medium flood is expected in the system.” “As per the Chief Minister’s directive, patrolling and monitoring of river embankments have been intensified. One sluice gate of the Hirakud Dam was opened for a few hours in a symbolic manner. There is nothing much to worry, but people must stay alert about possible flood,” he added.