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Cattle Island: Hirakud Reservoir

  • 18 Aug 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

The Odisha Forest and Environment Department is starting ecotourism packages for tourists to islands inside the Hirakud reservoir.

  • Cattle island, one of three islands in the Hirakud reservoir, has been selected as a sightseeing destination.

Key Points

  • Cattle Island:
    • It is located in one of the extreme points of Hirakud Reservoir. It is completely inhabited by wild animals, and without any trace of humans.
    • It is near Kumarbandh village of Belpahar-Banharpali range which is about 90 km from Sambalpur, Odisha.
    • The island is a submerged hill, and before the construction of Hirakud Dam it was a developed village.
      • During the resettlement period, villagers left some of their cattle behind; when the dam construction was over, the cattle settled on the hilltop.
      • As the area started to submerge following the dam’s construction, the cattle moved up to Bhujapahad, an elevated place in Jharsuguda district. Subsequently named ‘Cattle island’.
  • Hirakud Dam:
    • Establishment:
      • It is a multipurpose scheme conceived by Er. M. Visveswaraya in 1937, after recurrence of devastating floods in Mahanadi river.
      • Its first hydro power was commissioned in 1956.
      • It is the longest dam of India.
    • Location:
      • The dam is built across river Mahanadi at about 15 km upstream of Sambalpur town of Odisha.
        • The Mahanadi River system is the third largest of peninsular India after Godavari and Krishna, and the largest river of Odisha state.
        • It rises from a place near Sihawa in Bastar hills in the state of Chhattisgarh to the south of Amarkantak.
        • The catchment area of the river extends to Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
    • Objectives:
      • Irrigation: The project provides 1,55,635 hectares of Kharif and 1,08,385 ha of Rabi irrigation in the districts of Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir and Subarnapur.
        • The water released through the power house irrigates further 4,36,000 ha of regions in Mahanadi Delta.
      • Power Generation: The installed capacity for power generation is 347.5 MW through its two power houses at Burla, at the right bank and Chiplima, at 22 km downstream of the dam.
      • Flood Control: The project provides flood protection to Mahanadi basin including 9500 sq. km of delta area in districts of Cuttack and Puri.
    • Wildlife Sanctuary:
      • The Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary is located near Hirakud dam. It is bounded on the east and north by the huge Hirakud reservoir.
        • It is one of the select few sanctuaries in the state supporting both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity.

Source: TH

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