Hirakud dam’s content in decline due to alluvial deposits
Bhubaneswar: One of the nation’s biggest ever mega power projects and longest dam of the country, Hirakud dam is now lying in desecration as political controversy and government’s unwillingness to look into the gradual silting of the reservoir is posing a threat to the state at large.
In not so distant future the dam is going to complete its 61st anniversary. Its future for the well being of the state meanwhile remains somewhat obliterated as lakhs of people striving for their daily power needs, water, and irrigation and for industrialization are in an apprehension.
Statistics report that by 2015-16 the reservoir should intake about 24,910 million cubic unit of water but it is only able to accept 13,240 million cubic unit meaning an 11,970 million unit less of water and all mud.
On the other hand the dam authorities are not disapproving the fact that the dam’s water content capacity has decreased by 28.18 per cent. As per sources from survey by different agencies over a period from 1995 to 2000 the dead storage level of dam has been filled with 53.7 per cent alluvial mud while the live storage of the reservoir is filled with 28.18 per cent alluvial.
Amid all this another controversy that has made it worse is the unilateral water project construction by Chhattisgarh on the upstream Mahanadi. The State Government should give adequate importance to the issue and along with political melodrama with the Centre, Chhatisgarh it should also look to reinforce measures to increase the water content capacity of the reservoir.