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Survey of India estimates size of Tibet lake
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 11
Based on satellite images and earlier topographical information on Tibet, Survey of India has not only estimated the dimensions of the lake on Parechu tributary of Satluj but also the size of the landslide that has created the lake.

The crucial information has helped in gauging the level of flood threat and identifying vulnerable villages along the Satluj banks.

Official sources said the depression at the site of the present lake was recorded by the Survey of India in its topo-sheets in 1968. They said the landslide, which has now blocked the flow of Parechu, is estimated to be 178 metres along the stream and 84 metres across the stream.

Based on remote sensing data, the Survey of India has estimated that the lake has a height of 40 metres and an area of 194 hectares. “The volume of water in the lake is 64 million cubic metres,” a senior official said.

A three-dimensional model of the lake has been prepared on the computer to estimate the flow of water in case the lake bursts. “The model has helped make an estimate of expanse of water and its height in case the lake is breached,” the official said.

He said the possibility of the lake not bursting depended on the volume of water in it. “It is difficult to make a prediction at this stage,” he said.

The data prepared by Survey of India has been provided to the Himachal Pradesh government, Centre’s cell on disaster management and Nathpa Jakhri project authorities.

The Indian Meteorological Department is giving HP government daily reports of weather and rainfall in the flood-prone area along the Parechu.

With no marked change in the level of the Satluj, the Centre’s core group monitoring the threat of flood did not meet today. “There is no change in the situation from yesterday,” a senior Home Ministry official said.

Meanwhile, MEA officials said clearance had so far not been received from China for visit of an Indian technical team to the site of lake. 

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