Excavation Underway At Hirakud For Additional Spillway

Excavation work for additional spillway on the left dyke of Hirakud dam has commenced. The spillway would increase the dam’s ability to discharge floodwater, and would particularly avoid crises when the water levels rise. TATA Projects, along with AGE group of Turkey, are jointly involved in the project.

Himanshu Mishra, the executive engineer for the additional spillway project, remarked that the project is currently going on at a slow pace and that the initial deadline has been projected for March 2021. The length of the proposed spillway dam would be 91 metres, and the channel would emanate from near the Gandhi Minar on the left dyke of the Hirakud dam reservoir and finally meet Mahanadi near Jawahar Uddyan.

The additional spillway project is being backed and funded by the World Bank, and a net sum of ₹369.53 crores will be spent on it. The Central Water Commission (CWC) had recommended increasing the floodwater handling capacity for the pivotal reservoir, following which the decision was arrived at. Currently, there are 98 gates to release floodwaters from the dam, out of which 64 are sluice gates and the remaining, crest gates. Around 15 lakh cusecs of water is released from these 98 gates.

The project is, however, not without its own set of demerits. Mishra said that the construction would affect as many as 1415 families. The World Bank has already approved compensation packages for 337 families. Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) for the project, Dhananjaya Kisan said that ₹12 crore had been earmarked for the families and that the process of disbursement of the packages would start very soon.