Hirakud Dam

Hirakud Dam (Oriya: ହୀରାକୁଦ ବନ୍ଧ) is built across the Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in the state of Orissa in India. Built in 1957, the dam is one of the world's longest earthen dam. Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir, 55 km long. Hirakud Dam is one of the longest dams in the world, about 16 mi (26 km) in length. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley project started after India's independence. The name of the dam is mostly mis-pronounced in North India as Hirakund which is actually Hirakud.

Official name Hirakud Dam
Location 15 km from Sambalpur, Orissa

Opening date 1957
Construction cost 101 Crore Rs in 1957

Type of dam Dam and Reservoir
Height 60.96 m (200 ft)
Length 4.8 km (3 mi) (main section)
25.8 km (16 mi) (entire dam)
Impounds Mahanadi
Spillways 64 sluice-gates
Spillway capacity 42,450 cubic metres per second
(1,499,000 cu ft/s)

Before the devastating floods of 1937, Sir M. Visveswararya proposed a detailed investigation for storage reservoirs in the Mahanadi basin to tackle the problem of floods in the Mahanadi delta. In 1945, under the chairmanship of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the then Member of Labour, it was decided to invest in the potential benefits of controlling the Mahanadi for multi-purpose use. The Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission took up the work.

On 15 Mar 1946, Sir Howthrone Lewis, the then Governor of Orissa, laid the foundation stone of the Hirakud Dam. A project report was submitted to the government in June 1947. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the first batch of concrete on 12 April 1948. The dam was completed in 1953 and was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on 13 January 1957. The total cost of the project was Rs. 100.02 crores in 1957. Power generation along with agricultural irrigation started in 1956, achieving full potential in 1966.


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