Flowing The Magnificent River Of Sambalpur: The Mahanadi (Case Study)

River Mahanadi, the 6th largest river in the peninsular river frameworks of India, charitably streams 494 km in the North-Eastern portion of Odisha. The distance spans  851 km from its root to the outfall point at the Bay of Bengal. In the early fifties of the twentieth century, the Union government took a giant leap to develop the Hirakud dam venture over river Mahanadi in the Sambalpur locale of Odisha state. Hirakud dam, the biggest ever earthen dam, became operative in 1957. 
The Union Government arranged the development of Hirakud Dam in 1948 after considering the obliterating impacts of a few chronicled surge occasions in the Mahanadi River, with its foremost objective as flood retention by controlled discharge through the spillways of sluice gates. But over this long time of compelling flood control management, there were a few events of security concern during heavy monsoon within the upper catchment. The Hirakud supply got diverted to the sudden encroachment of floods while it stood at its greatest outlined water level. 
Concrete dams have an average life expectancy of 100 years, but Hirakud Dam is an earthen dam with an average life expectancy of 50 years. The Hirakud Dam has already crossed its life expectancy of life, and there is a lot of pressure on the dam due to the siltation and the increased water volume during monsoons. Concrete dams are gravity dams usually built in large blocks divided by joints to make the construction more convenient, while Earthen dams are constructed of soil pounded and compacted in areas where the foundation is not strong enough to bear the weight of a concrete dam and where the land is easily available.
While the water assets of the Hirakud Dam proceed to stay the pillar of Odisha’s rural success and hydropower possibility, in the past two decades, there has been developing concern in working out the choices for overseeing the flood occasions when the reservoir is kept up at its greatest holding capacity. Thus, it becomes imperative to develop feasible arrangements and provide sustainable solutions for managing this weight and pressure discharge to guarantee the security of Hirakud Dam. 
This case study aims to create solutions for an alternate reality of dams and revive the Mahanadi River flow through resilient landscape design. Firstly, an analysis of predicted and unforeseen problems that could arise with large dams was studied and then a watershed management system involving soil conservation and catchment restoration within the larger context of the Mahanadi basin was made to design a resilient sustainable landscape management plan for restoration of rivers lost due to dams.

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