Customary discharge of water from Hirakud dam was undertaken on Tuesday by opening one of the reservoir’s gates. The dam authority said it is obligatory to discharge water from the reservoir between July and September to ensure space for heavy inflow of rain water from the catchment areas. But since there was less water in the reservoir this year a single gate was opened, just to maintain the tradition.
As per the custom, a puja was organized at the dam site before opening the gate. Senior officials and dignitaries of the district were invited on the occasion. The ritual has been an annual feature at the dam since it was opened in 1957, sources said.
“Every year, during the month of July we discharge the first floodwater from the reservoir to make the reservoir ready to store heavy inflow of upspring water. This year though we have water in the reservoir, we do not want to discharge much water as we feel it would hamper irrigation and power generation,” said R K Panda, executive engineer of Hirakud dam circle.
The world’s biggest earthen dam has a total of 64 sluice gates (40 on the left and 24 on the right side of the dam) and 34 crest gates (21 on the left and 13 on the right side of the dam) with a total length of 10.759 km long right dykes and 9.337 km of left dykes. The total length of the main dam is about 4.84 km that connects Burla town on the right and Hirakud town on the left. About 15 thousand cusec water is approximately discharged through one sluice gate per second.
As per official sources, the water level of the reservoir was 605.35 feet on Tuesday and about 28 thousand cusec water was discharged through the gate and canals. The dam was receiving 1.33 lakh cusecs water per second as of on Tuesday, source said.