M A I N   N E W S

BBMB calls emergency meeting
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 10
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has called an emergency meeting of the partner states for August 12 and is likely to forewarn Punjab that it may be forced to release water into the Sutlej in case the dam height reaches the danger mark this month.

What has got the BBMB authorities worried is a warning by the Indian Meteorological Bureau predicting heavy rains in the catchments of the dam after August 18. With the dam already at 1,647 feet, seven feet more than the level recorded at the end of the filling season in September last year, the authorities feel reaching the maximum level of 1,680 feet is only a matter of days.

Board Member, Irrigation, MK Gupta, said a full board meeting had been called on August 12 following the heavy rain warning. He said present trends indicated the dam was likely to reach the maximum level of 1,680 feet this season and the board wanted to form a consensus on how much water should be released in this eventuality.

Sources said the Bhakra dam was filling up at the rate of nearly four feet every day. With a comfort level of only 33 feet before the dam achieves a maximum level of 1,680 feet, the BBMB may be forced to release water into the Sutlej. Sources said it might do this in stages rather than a sudden release that could result in floods in Punjab.

The BBMB is already releasing the maximum possible water amounting to 35,000 cusecs every day and has also switched on all turbines since two days back that has increased power outage. It is also releasing an additional 11,000 cusecs of water from the Bhakra dam to the Pong dam.

Meanwhile, the Member, Irrigation, said inflows into the dam were recorded at one-lakh cusecs two days back. He said the inflow today was down to around 60,000 cusecs. “However heavy rains in the catchments could increase these inflows substantially,” Gupta added.

Meanwhile the water level in the Pong dam is also 10 feet more than the level recorded last year. The level, which was recorded at 1,344 feet, still allows the dam a margin of another 45 feet.





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