Topic of the Day – Additional spillway for Hirakud Dam

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Additional spillway for Hirakud Dam

The Hirakud dam is built across the River Mahanadi in the state of Odisha. A 55 km long lake extends behind the dam and is called the Hirakud Reservoir. The dam was commissioned in 1957. It is one of the longest Earthen dam in the world.

  • Towns and cities like Burla, Hirakud and Sambalpur,  can suffer a likely disaster in the event of breach of the dam.
  • Besides, the water resulting from a breach could travel down the River Mahanadi, affecting the districts of Kendrapara, Khurda, Jagatsingpur, Cuttack etc .


The Government panel has suggested environmental clearance to Hirakud dam’s additional spillway

Recommendations have been made for environment clearance to the ‘additional spillway’ for Hirakud Dam near Sambhalpur in Odisha by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the environment ministry for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects. This move is aimed at safeguarding has recommended environment clearance to the ‘additional spillway’ of the Hirakud dam near Sambalpur in Odisha to safeguard thickly populated areas near the dam.

The construction of the “spill channel” would comprise of a diversion of 9.44 hectare of forest area of Lamedungri forest range. This would result in the felling of at least 3,595 trees belonging to the local species at the time of construction.  

  • A spillway provides a structure to provide the controlled release of water flow into a downstream area, generally the river bed of the river on which the dam is built from a dam or levee into a downstream area.
  • Other uses of the term “spillway” include bypasses of dams or outlets of channels used during high water.


Advantages of building an additional spillway:

  • New look could give a boost to the tourism prospect.
  • Expansion in activities would consequently increase the source of income to the resettled population. 
  • Additional spillway construction on the left dyke of Hirakud dam would considerably relieve the pressure of reservoir operation.
  • approach roads would be modernized with avenue plantation and lighting facilities.


Read more ‘Topic of the Day’ and stay ahead of your competition.