The Hirakud dam on Mahanadi river in Odisa has a 55 kilometer long reservoir covering total area of 743 square kilometers, considered one of the biggest artificial lakes in India. The dam was constructed in 1953 with a purpose to controlling flooding in Mahanadi river basin.
There are four dams in the Damodar valley in Jharkhand and West Bengal. The reservoirs of the dams having huge capacity were constructed to tame the ferocious Damodar river. As per the Central Water Commission’s latest bulletin, the reservoirs are full with water higher than the average of the last 10 years. The bulletin also says that level of water in six other reservoirs in Odisha is also very high.
A NDMA official said the local administration have no option but to release the water to prevent a watery grave in lower regions of Odisa and southern Jharkhand. “All relief teams have been briefed about the possible flooding after the cyclone,” the official added.
The health ministry has also dispatched teams with medicines to prevent a repeat of the 1999 outbreak of water-borne epidemic.