Hirakud dam is built in India about 15 kilometres (9 miles) from Sambalpur in the state of Odisha on the Mahanadi .There is a lake which is 55 km (34 miles) long behind the dam, Hirakud reservoir. It is one of the first major multipurpose river valley projects launched after independence of India.
In June 1947, Hirakud dam project report was submitted to the government. Jawaharlal Nehru had placed the first batch of concrete on 12 April 1948.
In the Mahanadi River upper drainage basin concentrated on the Chhattisgarh plain, the periodic drought is in contrast to the situation in the lower delta region where flood can damage crops. DAMS were constructed to help reduce these problems by creating a reservoir and controlling the flow of river through drainage system. The dam controls the flow of Mahanadi and produces hydroelectric power through many hydro – electric plants.
The dam helps in controlling the floods in the Mahanadi delta and irrigates the land of 75,000 km 2 (19×106 acres). Hydro electricity is also generated. The Hirakud dam controls 83,400 km 2 (20.6 × 106 acres) of the Mahanadi drainage by controlling the reservoir has a storage capacity of 8.136 km3 (1.952 cubic miles) of 5.818 km3 (1.396 cubic miles) with a gross of 8.136 km3
It flows into an area of 133,090 km 2 (32.89 × 106 acres), which is more than twice the area of Sri –Lanka.
This project provides irrigation to 1,556 km 2 (384,000 acres) of kharif and 148,000 acres of rabi in sambalpur, bargarh, bolangir and subarnpur districts. The water left by the power plant is irrigated the CCA of 4,360 km 2 (1.08×106 acre) in the mega river delta. On the right side of the dam, in burla, two power plants and 22 km (14 miles) from the dam to the bottom of the dam can generate electricity in 307.5 mw. Besides, the project provides flood protection in the 9,500 km 2 (2.3×106 acre) delta areas in Cuttack and Puri district.
Chiplima gained prominence as the second hydroelectric project in the Hirakud dam. The natural decline of Mahanadi River from 80 to 120 feet (24 to 37 m) is used for generating electricity. This place is inhabited by a large number of fishermen whose goddess Ghantashwari is worshipped in the neighbouring area. The state livestock breeding farms and agricultural farms are located here.
Hirakud dam has three canals, namely the bargarh main canal, the sason canal and sambalpur canal. The bargarh main canal has a discharge rate of 4,000 cubic feet per second (110 m3 / s).
Later, water from the Hirakud dam was allotted to various industries, mainly for mineral processing and coal – based thermal power plants in the districts of Jharsuguda and Sambalpur.
The main purpose of the hirakud dam was to stop the heavy flood which was affecting a large part of coastal Odisha. But, the construction of the dam deeply affected the original inhabitants of the western part of Odisha. The Hirakud project affected about 150,000 people and about 22,000 families migrated.
Now that place is a tourist place of Odisha