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Safety of Hirakud Dam in India questioned

The New Indian Express yesterday reported “profuse water seepage” at the Hirakud Dam, in the state of Odisha in India.

It has been reported that water seepage was observed during the annual inspection of Hirakud Hydro Electric Project and poses a serious threat to safety of the dam, which was built on the Mahanadi river in 1953.

The seepage was observed in an inspection gallery but concern was expressed about leakage from tail race channel through damaged seals of the draft tubes.

News of the issue emerged as a result of the national Indian newspaper’s publication of quotes from the inspection report submitted by the chief engineer and electrical inspector to the principal secretary to the Indian government’s energy department.

Chief engineer and basin manager, Upper Mahanadi Basin, Biswajit Mohanty, confirmed the “alarming” seepage from upstream of Hirakud reservoir and the joint secretary of energy department, Sangramjit Nayak, directed the director of Odisha Hydro Power Corporation (OHPC) to take appropriate steps last week.

The general manager of OHPC confirmed the situation and said “appropriate steps” would be taken in coordination with the Indian government to prevent further leakage.

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