Mahanadi is the biggest river of Orissa. The length of this river is 858kms. This river is originated from Amarkantak plateau, which is situated at Chhattisgarh. This river is enters Orissa through Jharsuguda and flows through the districts like Baragarh, Sambalpur, Anugul, Cuttack, Jagatsingpur. It enters the landmass at Naraj after crossing several mountain. There is a gorge called Satakosia present over it. The delta of this river starts from cuttack. It drains into Bay of Bengal at Paradeep port.

The tributaries of Mahanadi are Sibanath, Hansda, Mand, Ib, Tel and the branch rivers are kathajodi, Kuakhai, Birupa, Debi, Daya and Bhargabi. The water of this river used for cultivation, fishing, industries and generating electricity. It plays a vital role in economical stabilization of Orissa. Apart from this the flood water of it causes huge loss of lives and properties.

To control the floods a dam has been constructed at Hirakud, which is situated 15kms upstream from Sambalpur. It is the longest dam in the world its length is 4,800mt. The stored water which forms a lake measuring 650sq km, will ultimately irrigate about 4 lac hectors of land. The dame project the Mahanadi delta and districts of Balangir and Sambalpur. There is a power house present in the dame whose capacity is 123.00kilowatt, which attracts new industries like Aluminium plant at Hirakud, Iron and steel at Rourkela. Another power house is constructed at Chipilima. Beyond this there is a barage at Naraj and another at Chaudwar. It also signifies the history ,tradition , culture of Odisha.

Hirakud Dam

The history of Mahanadi River refers to the birth of the river in Chhatisgarh and its significance.

Mahanadi water for industries: State urged to drop move

Staff Reporter The Hindu

Leaders of pressure group to intensify agitation

The State government has already allowed 37 industries to draw water from Hirakud reservoir

Constitution of river commission demanded

BHUBANESWAR: Exerting further pressure on Naveen Patnaik-government, the Mahanadi Bachao Andolan (MBA), a multiparty forum, here on Sunday announced the agitations would be further intensified until the State government revoked its promise of allocating water to industries.

Addressing a joint press conference, leaders said water meant for drinking and agricultural purposes was being diverted for industrial use which would adversely impact quality of life in downstream areas of Mahanadi River.

Bijoy Mohapatra, who was leading the movement, said the State government kept on allotting Mahanadi River water to industries without taking into consideration that flow of water into Hirakud catchment in Orissa had reduced drastically in recent years.

"The State government has already allowed 37 industries to draw water from Hirakud Reservoir. Live storage capacity of reservoir is getting squeezed. Adding trouble, Chhattisgarh government has already set up 30 small and medium dams by intercepting 23,000 km long upper catchment area," Mr. Mohapatra said.

Stating that water crisis started to hit the State, he said between October 22 and 30 last year about 30,000 cusec water was released from Jobra barrage for irrigation purposes, but it did not reach the tail-end.

Mr. Mohapatra termed the allocation of water in favour of industries as irrational, anti-farmer and anti-people. "If the decision to divert water for industries is not revoked, undivided Cuttack and Puri would be adversely affected. In fact 15 districts along Mahanadi would feel the heat."

He demanded that the State government should constitute Mahanadi River Commission comprising technical experts who would do a proper audit of water expenditure.

Speaking on the occasion, former Finance Minister Panchanan Kanungo said Mahanadi River was left with very less water in non-rainy season. If industries guzzled water during that period, people would certainly face scarcity of drinking water, he apprehended.

MBA president Gouranga Hota announced that the State government would not be allowed to indiscriminately allocate waters to industries and agitation would be intensified in different districts. Leaders were peeved over allocation of water from Jobra Barrage to proposed 12 million tonne per annum steel plant by South Korean steel major Posco in Jagatsinghpur district.

Mahanadi rises in the highlands of Chhatisgarh. It flows across the Indian state of Orissa to reach the Bay of Bengal. The length of the river is around 860 km. Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa share its drainage basin. The Mahanadi River is a river of eastern India. The river is one of the longest rivers in India and drains a considerable part of peninsular India.

The world`s largest earth dam - the Hirakud Dam is built on the river and stands near the city of Sambalpur. It has a high tower, Gandhi Minar for check up of the dam; on other side of the dam another tower Ashok minar is constructed there.

The Mahanadi rises in Dhamtari District of Chhatisgarh. The productive plains of the Mahanadi valley are home to intensive rice cultivation. The Mahanadi and Brahmani rivers together form a large delta where they meet the Bay of Bengal. The city of Cuttack lies at the head of this delta. This delta features one of the largest mangrove forests in Indian peninsular, and is a main rice producing area of the eastern coast of India. The Mahanadi River irrigates a fruitful valley where crops of oilseed, rice, and sugarcane are cultivated.

Origin of Mahanadi River
The origin of Mahanadi River is at Sihawa Mountain in the Chhatisgarh province.

Mahanadi River starts from Sihawa mountain of Chhatisgarh province and debouches into the Bay of Bengal near Paradeep Sea Port in Orissa province. The Mahanadi takes its starting point near Sihawa in the Amarkantaka hills of Chhatisgarh. Important tributaries like Hadso, Jonk, Mand, Sone, Ib, Ong and Tel feed the river. The river flows along the boundary of Athamallik Sub-Division and Boudh District at about 8 Kms, which lies west of Boudh and Kiakata.

The river however changes it`s course from southeast to south near Boudh town but after passing a few kilometer it again takes a southeastern course on rocky, solid and irregular bed. After that the river moves eastward in winding course and lies few kilometers west of Tikarpara into Barmul canyon, which is locally known as Satakosia Gonda. The Gorge is 22 Kms. long and here the river meanders round wooded hills, 457 to 915 meter in height, crags and peaks of rare beauty are found along the river`s course on both sides. Total length of Mahanadi since the origin is 832 Kms. of which only 77 Kms. crosses on southwest periphery of this district.

Tributaries of River Mahanadi
Tel and Hadso rivers are the main tributaries of River Mahanadi.

The major tributaries of River Mahanadi are Hadso and Tel rivers. However, most of the Mahanadi tributaries flow across the Bargarh district. Jira and Jhaun rivers flow through the Bargarh district and join the river Mahanadi in the extreme south of the district. The Jira has main tributary, the Danta that joins it a few miles north of its convergence with the Mahanadi near the village Gandturum in Bheden.

The other river that flows across the district is Ong (Ang) that rises in the Nawapara district and enters Borasambar (Padampur) at the extreme south-west corner of the district. The river flows through in a wide-semi-circle from west to east and leaves the district a few miles to the east of Gaisilat eventually joining the Mahanadi in the Subarnapur district.

The Tel River flows in Sonpur District of Orissa. Tel is the second largest river of Orissa and flows just 8 km away from the town of Titilagarh. This river is a significant tributary of the Mahanadi River. The convergence of the two rivers offers a remarkable view against a colorful landscape. The Hadso river is an important tributary of Mahanadi River, flowing in Madhya Pradesh.

Course of River Mahanadi

Mahanadi River course flows up to 885 kms surface area of India across the Eastern Ghats Mountains.

Mahanadi River is about 885 km long that flows in central India. The river rises in Chhatisgarh State and flows eastwards through the Eastern Ghats Mountains before entering the Bay of Bengal through a delta near Cuttack, in the eastern state of Orissa. The Tel and Hasdo rivers are the major tributaries of River Mahanadi. The Hirakud Dam was constructed in1956 and it is the only large earthen structure at Sambalpur that regulates the flow of the Mahanadi and thus produces hydroelectricity.

Demand for Mahanadi Commission mounts

Correspondent The Hindu

Mahanadi Bachao Andolana steering committee meeting held

Farmers of at least 10 districts of the State depend on Mahanadi waters

CUTTACK: The decision by the State government to think of an alternative water source other than Jobra barrage in Cuttack city for the proposed steel plant in Paradeep vindicates the claim that Mahanadi water was insufficient for human and agricultural purposes, claim the leaders of Mahanadi Bachao Andolana (MBA).

At a steering committee meeting held here on Sunday, MBA leaders reiterated that it is high time the State government set up Mahanadi Commission to ascertain the shortfall of river water for agricultural purposes and take measures to divert more and more water to farm sector.

"Instead of showing undue favour to industrial houses by diverting river waters, the government should first address the grievances of farmers", said BJP leader and former State irrigation minister Bijay Mohapatra at the MBA meeting.

Farmers of at least 10 districts of the State depend on Mahanadi waters for irrigation purposes. But unfortunately over 40 percent of agricultural land located at far end of main canals originating from Jobra barrage do not get water during the monsoon season, allege the leaders.

The meeting also congratulated the farmers of all these affected districts for throwing their weight behind the Mahanadi Bachao Andolana and called upon the participants to keep the movement active until the government comes out with the initiative to set up Mahanadi Commission.

The shortfall of irrigation water in the canals during the just concluded monsoon season for the Khariff crop goes on to prove that the claims made by the ruling party leaders on availability of river water for agricultural purposes were all false and concocted, the MBA leaders said.

The flow of Mahanadi River is augmented by the drainage of hills to the north and south. At Sambalpur the Hirakud Dam on the river has constructed a man-made lake, which is 55 km long; the dam has several hydroelectric plants. Below the dam the Mahanadi river turns southwards along a meandering course, across the Eastern Ghats through a forest-covered gorge. Twisting in the eastward direction, the river enters the Orissa plains near Cuttack and thus enters the Bay of Bengal at False Point by a number of channels.

The Mahanadi is also called the "Great River" because of its vast course of 560 miles (900 km). The river has an estimated drainage area of 51,000 square miles and it is one of the most active silt-depositing streams in the Indian subcontinent. The river supplies a number of irrigation canals, particularly near Cuttack and Puri, at one of its mouths, which is a famous pilgrimage site.

This central Indian River rises in the hills of southeastern Madhya Pradesh state. Its upper course runs north as an insignificant stream, draining the eastern Chhatt?sgarh Plain. After the confluence with the Seon?th River, below Baloda B?z?r, the river turns east and enters Orissa state and thus its flow is improved by the drainage of hills to the north and southwards.

At Sambalpur the H?r?kud Dam on the river has formed a man-made lake that is 35 miles long; the dam features several hydroelectric plants. Below the dam the Mah?nadi turns southwards along a meandering course, making its way though the Eastern Gh?ts through a deep, forested gorge. Bending towards the east, Mahanadi enters the Orissa plains near Cuttack and finally empties into the Bay of Bengal at False Point by several channels.

Ecological significance

The Mahanadi is one of the longest rivers in India and drains a large part of peninsular India. The fertile plains of the river valley are home to intensive rice cultivation. The Mahanadi and Brahmanirivers together form a large delta at the confluence with the Bay of Bengal. The city of Cuttacklies at the head of this delta. This delta houses one of the largest mangrove forests in peninsular India.The Baisipalli Sanctuary and the Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary south of the river (part of the Mahanadi Wildlife Division) houses a variety of birds and animals. The Mahanadi river is one of the best known fresh water turtle habitats in the country as its deep water pools, sand banks and mid river islands provide an ideal home to the animals. The water quality of the river has deteriorated over the years due to the presence of large number of urban settlements and industries that discharge the waste water into the river without any treatment.The Hirakund dam is built on the river. It is the largest earth dam in the country.

The Mahanadi River Basin

Rise in temperature over the basin, pressure anomalies over the sea, hydrologic extremes

The Mahanadi river basin is one of the most vulnerable to climate change and variations in temperatures and precipitation regions.

The Mahanadi River delta plain covers 0.9 x 10 km and lies between 85 40' : 86 45' E and 19 40' : 20 35' N. The catchment area of the river covers 1.42 x 10 km. The sediment yield of the Mahanadi catchment is around 200-400 tonnes/km. It has an average annual rainfall of 1572 mm and 70% of this during the SW monsoon season.

In the recent past, the years 2001 and 2003 were marked by very high floods in the Mahanadi River. In July, 2001 very high floods passed for four continuous days (July 17 to July 20) when water discharge exceeded 39,000 cumsec and the recorded highest discharge was around 40,868 cumsec. For a few days in August and September 2003, very high floods passed when water discharge fluctuated between 31,000 to 38,200 cumsec.

Orissa meteorological subdivision has gained importance because of the recent observations which show that impact of CC is more vulnerable to Orissa. Analysis of instrumental climate data revealed that the mean surface temp over India has warmed at a rate of 0.4 deg cet per century (Rao, 1995). The increasing trend of temperature in Mahanadi river basin of Orissa meteorological subdivision due to CC is more severe. Rao (1195) found that the surface air temp over this area is increasing at a rate of 1.1 deg per century which is more than double of that of entire India.

The impact of CC may also be more severe for Orissa met subdivision because of its position at the coast of the Bay of Bengal. A slight change in the pressure anomaly of the sea can have a severe impact on the precipitation of Orissa, which results in increase of hydrologic extremes in that region. Recent past records of Orissa with a flucturating weather condition and the high occurrence of hydrologic extremes show that this the most affected region of India due to CC.


Second rail bridge over Mahanadi commissioned

Correspondent The Hindu

Second exit gate opened at Cuttack railway station

‘Steps taken to beautify landscape '

CUTTACK: The 2.1 km second railway bridge over River Mahanadi was commissioned and dedicated to public by Railway Board Chairman K.C.Jena here on Saturday. The bridge would now facilitate trains approaching to the city from North without waiting for the track clearance.

Inaugurating the bridge that was constructed at a cost of Rs. 120 crore, Jena informed that work for the second railway bridges over rivers Kathjodi and Kuakhai is now in progress . "As soon as these bridges are complete in the next 10 months, the doubling of rail tracks between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar would be operational.

The Railway Vikash Nigam Limited (RVNL) has adopted a world-class quality control system for the bridge which is designed for a train speed of 160 km per hour. Since river Mahanadi falls under seismic zone III, adequate steps have been taken to withstand quake, sources said.

The second bridge over River Mahanadi, which took almost 36 months (three years) for completion, comes up after over 100 years of commissioning of the first bridge.

Exit gate

The Railway Board Chairman also inaugurated the second exit gate of Cuttack railway station on the eastern side of the city that was constructed at a cost of Rs. 60 crore.

The exit point would facilitate the passengers staying on the eastern fringes of the city and all those who would approach the station by the NH-5. "As soon as we acquire the land, the link road from station to NH would be complete", Jena informed.

The eastern exit gate has the facilities like rest sheds, waiting halls and a flyover to reach other platforms. "Soon we are going to equip this with platform ticket vending machine and a touch-screen enquiry counter", he added. He also emphasised that steps are taken on a war footing manner to beautify the landscape of the main entrance of Cuttack railway station which is coming up in the shape of Barabati Fort.

Earlier this year Jena had inaugurated a Merchants' lounge in the city near Malgodown.

The well-furnished lounge is provided with modern facilities like air-conditioner, water cooler, aqua guard and toilets for the benefit of the businessmen.

go to top