Hirakud Dam Odisha is considered as one of the world’s longest man made Dam; it is situated at a place of 15 km from the city of Sambalpur. Hirakud Dam is also the world’s longest earthen Dam about 16 miles. It is around 26 km in length. It is built on the River Mahanadi at Rs. 1000 million. The Hirakud Dam project is one of its kinds in entire India. After, India’s independence, it is said to one of the first major multi-use river valley projects.

Hirakud Dam is built on which river?

Before the destructive floods that took place in the year of 1937 in the river Mahanadi, Sir M. Visveswaraya then proposed an exhaustive investigation. It was with a proper solution to prevent these floods in the delta region of the river Mahanadi. According to his findings, it was the decision to understand and endow in the potential of the Mahanadi. It was not just to control but also to utilize it to serve various purposes. The project work was then undertaken by the ‘Central Waterways, Navigation and Irrigation Commission’. In 1953 the construction work of the Hirakud Dam Odisha was completed. The Dam was inaugurated on 13th January 1957 by Jawaharlal Nehru itself. In 1956 agricultural irrigation along with power generation was started. Again, in the year 1966 achieved complete potential.

The history behind Hirakud Dam Odisha:

In the year 1937, the efforts were commenced to start the project. The disastrous floods in 1937 were the reason that got the idea of having the architect and engineer M. Visveswaraya. Then he gave this Dam project and the proposal for the thorough investigation of the storage reservoirs of the Mahanadi basin. To tackle the problems of floods in Mahanadi delta was the prime target of the project. In 1945, Dr B. R. Ambedkar, who was the Member of Labour in Government of India during that time decided to utilize the potentiality of river Mahanadi in the most fruitful ways. And then the Central Waterways Navigation and Irrigation Commission then took the project. Later, Governor of Orissa, Sir Howthrone Lewis led the foundation stone of Hirakud Dam on 15th March 1946. Then later in June 1947, the project report was submitted to the Government of India.

On 12th April 1948, the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru led the first lot of concrete, and the complete project was then on 13th January 1957 Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru only formally inaugurated the Dam. In the year 1966, the project came into full existence, and the supply for irrigation and power generation started progressively. Granite, hard concrete, and earth are the most used substances in building the gigantic structure of the Hirakud Dam Odisha.

Few Interesting Facts of Hirakud Dam:

The biggest artificial lake of Asia is at Hirakud Dam Odisha; it is hence popular for it as well. Its total length is 25.8 km. On the left is the main Dam from Lamdungri hill to 4.8 km from Chandili hill. It has two observation towers on either side; Gandhi Minar and Nehru Minar. The coastline of its reservoir is 639 km long. Soil, concrete and other materials used to build this Dam could be built about eight meters wide road from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Amritsar to Dibrugarh. Hirakud Lake is the largest human-made lake in Asia. The length of this Dam is 4801 meters, in which 810 million cubic meters of water is stored, its purpose is to control flood and generate electricity. This Dam is the largest in the world.

The Hirakud Project has two more dam presence besides Hirakud and 743 sq km, due to the embankment of the Dam. The Hirakud Dam Odisha has two separate hydroelectric power stations. This powerhouse is at a place called ‘Chiplimma’. The total capacity of the powerhouses is 307.5 MW. This electric power is being used in various factories and industrial units in Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand. Three main canals have been pulled out of the Dam. ‘Boragarh Canal’ on the right and ‘Sasan’ and ‘Sambalpur Canal’ on the left. These canals irrigate Sambalpur, Bolangir, Puri and Cuttack districts. This project provides electricity to the ‘Rourkela Steel Plant’.

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