Cracks on Hirakud spillway: Dam safety chief engineer for special inspection by expert panel

Bhubaneswar: Dam safety chief engineer Sibasish Padhi has written to the chief engineer of Mahanadi basin for a special inspection of Hirakud dam by an expert panel.

Padhi’s letter comes amid reports that several cracks have appeared on the operation gallery, foundation gallery, gate shaft and sluice barrels of both left and right spillways of Hirakud dam.

As per the letter, the Dam Safety Review Panel (DSRP) had visited the dam in January 2020 and recommended for further study on the cracks at Hirakud dam.

The panel had suggested a drone-based inspection to find out any cracks on the downstream glacis of the spillway.

There was also a suggestion for conducting an underwater videography of the concrete of the spillway.

The panel had also suggested for a comprehensive survey of the dam in every five years as no fresh inspection has been undertaken in Hirakud since 1999.

“In response to the above recommendations and suggestions of the DSRP, no information/report regarding surveys conducted at the dam site and monitoring activity taken up for study of any further development to cracks along with leakage/seepage there to has been received by SDSO after January 2020. Prior to any special inspection, it is essential to review the survey reports/observations/ action taken reports for the gap period. Hence it is requested to furnish the required documents as stated above for necessary review and plan for a special inspection by panel of experts as felt appropriate,” read the letter.

Hirakud chief engineer Anand Chandra Sahu, meanwhile, said there is no threat to the dam.

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