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 The Odisha government has decided to reopen public universities, government and non-government colleges for first-year students from tomorrow.

The government has decided to reopen the colleges and universities due to "improvement in COVID-19 situation in the state," according to the order.

The order also stated that hostels shall be reopened from September 19 for these students and all possible COVID-19 prevention protocols shall be followed in the hostels.

The state government has also issued guidelines that need to be followed in the colleges and universities. Teachers, staff and students residing in the containment zones shall not come to university and college, and mandatory wearing of masks.

Social distancing shall be adopted in classrooms, libraries, laboratories etc. Crowded classes can be divided into batches and teaching hours in a day can be extended.

There must be an isolation room ready for any emergency. 

Meanwhile, the water level is receding in many rivers in Odisha and there is no fear of a major flood in the state, including in Mahanadi and Subarnarekha rivers, a senior official said on Saturday.

However, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast more rain in the next four days, even as Water Resources Department Engineer-in-Chief D K Samal said that rainwater remained accumulated in many villages.

"There is no fear of a major flood in Odisha including in Mahanadi and Subarnarekha river systems. Though it was anticipated that 7 lakh cusecs of water would flow every second at Mundali near Cuttack, it has come down to 6.76 lakh cusecs per second at 6 PM on Saturday. The water would pass without causing much damage," he said.

Samal said that water level has also started receding in Baitarani, Brahmani and Subarnarekha rivers.

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