Tag Archives: Hirakud Reservoir
On tomorrow 5th August, the first flood water of this season would be released from Hirakud Dam, informed by the Dam’s chief engineer Harmohan Pradhan.
The floodwaters would be released through seven gates between 10 am and 12.30 pm on that day. Water would be released through some sluice gates as rains continue to occur in upper catchment area in Chhattisgarh swelling the reservoir. According to norms, water is released from the Hirakud reservoir when the water level goes above 610 foot. The current water level in Hirakud Dam is 611.47 ft., as the maximum holding capacity of the reservoir is 630 feet.
The district Collectors of Sambalpur, Bargarh, Subarnapur, Angul, Boudh, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Khordha, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur and Puri have been asked to be on alert ahead of the release of floodwaters.
The water level capacity of Hirakud Dam is 630 ft. but yesterday night, it reached to its top most level of 629.33ft.. 1 lakh and 95 thousands cusec of water enters into dam and 1 lakh and 57 thousand cusec of water drains to river and canals.
One more boatman and owner of the boat which capsized in the Hirakud dam reservoir claiming 31 lives, were arrested by Sambalpur police on Saturday.
Police had been on the lookout for the two ever since the incident took place on February 9. The boat owner was identified as Satyanand Pandey of Jagannath Mandir Colony in Sambalpur town and the boatman Anjan Parua belongs to Sianpali village under Banharpali police limits in Jharsuguda district. They were forwarded to court.
Pandey said he had requisite permission from Inland Water Transport (IWT) under Directorate of Ports and Inland Water Transport, Chandbali, by virtue of which he was operating boat service. However, he said the Dhankauda panchayat samiti had not auctioned the Sonutikra ghat where people boarded and landed and was sure to bag the auction as he has been operating the service since last 11 years.
He revealed that majority of the men who were on board the boat were drunk and did not pay heed to the request of the boatmen and crowded the boat.
He said while they were ferried in groups while going on onward journey, all boarded the boat at a single go on their return journey.
The capacity of the boat was to ferry 100 persons, but more than 140 boarded forcibly.
Moreover, they panicked and rushed to one side of the boat on seeing the rescue boat approach which resulted in the large number of casualty. Similarly, boatman Anjan Parua said they requested the picnickers not to board the boat together and assured that they would be ferried in groups. “But they intimidated and threatened us,” he added.
Earlier on Wednesday, boatman Akshya Rana of Sonutikra village under Sason police limits of the district was arrested near Sambalpur on the charges of rash navigation of the vessel.
Sambalpur Sadar Sub-Collector Surendra Panda has issued a show cause notice to Dhankauda BDO Ashok Kumar Gartia over illegal operation of boats from Sonutikra ferry ghat along left dyke of Hirakud dam. The ghat was not put to auction last year.
Members of Lions Club of Sambalpur had boarded the ill-fated boat at the Sonutikra ghat and the mishap occurred while they were returning from the picnic site on the other side of the Hirakud dam reservoir on Sunday.
Sadar Sub-Collector Surendra Panda said ferry ghats should be auctioned every year. However, Sonutikra ghat was not auctioned for the last one year, which is a violation of Odisha Gram Panchayat Rules, 1968, and a show cause notice has been issued to Dhankauda BDO in this regard.
The Sub-Collector has asked the BDO to submit his explanation over the matter within seven days of receipt of the notice. As per reports, Sonutikra ghat is managed by Dhankauda Panchayat Samiti in Sambalpur district and an agreement is signed with the person, who qualifies the bid in the auction, regarding the rules and regulation of the ferry service.
The timing, condition of the boat and some other terms related to security of the passengers are mentioned in the agreement. However, the boats were ferrying from the ghat without taking any permission.
On Wednesday, police arrested one of the two boatmen Akshay Rana on the charges of rash navigation of the vessel and launched a manhunt to nab the owner of the boat Satyanand Pandey and another boatman Anjan Parua who are still at large.
Meanwhile, some of the passengers who managed to escape in the incident appreciated the role of both Akshay and Anjan and said they were innocent.
Eyewitnesses Soumya Ranjan Pradhan and his friends Manmath Kumar and Paban Khamari of Sakhipada area in Sambalpur town said the boat was filled to capacity and the boatmen had suggested the picnickers not to board the boat but they paid no heed. Soumya and his two friends are not the members of the Lions club, but had gone to the other side of the Hirakud reservoir and were returning to Sambalpur in the same boat. They said the boatmen jumped into the water in the middle of the reservoir to rescue the passengers and saved many lives.
Meanwhile, locals, ODRAF members and convenor of Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) Ranjan Panda have demanded release of the arrested boatman and action against the culprits based on the inquiries that have been ordered.Panda also welcomed Odisha High Court’s suo motu cognizance of the matter seeking status reports from Government departments concerned within two weeks.