M A I N   N E W S

Scanty rains
BBMB cuts water supply to 3 states
Sarbjit Dhaliwal/TNS

Chandigarh, July 17
Owing to abysmally low level of water in the Bhakra and Pong dams, the water supply to partner states, including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, was cut by 10 per cent this morning.

The reduction in water supply is set to hit transplantation of paddy and watering of other crops in the region. Bhakra and Pong dams feed various canal systems in the region where a huge area depends on canal irrigation.

The water flow was cut by the Bharka-Beas Management Board (BBMB) after the partner states consented to it at a meeting.

Punjab Irrigation Department Chief Engineer Amarjit Singh Dullet said keeping in view the critically low level of water in Bhakra and Pong dams, all partner states agreed to reduction in water supply by 10 per cent from today. He said the Bhakra Mainline Canal and the Sirhind Canal were fed with water from the Bhakra Dam and Harike Lake, from which canal systems take water to Rajasthan and some parts of Punjab.The level in the Bhakra Dam was 1,551.63 feet this morning. It was down by 60.07 feet compared with the level on the same date last year. The inflow was 28,600 cusecs, while the outflow was 24,577 cusecs.

In the Pong Dam, the level of water this morning was 1,291.86 feet. It was down by 61.48 feet, compared with the level on the same date last year. In case, the water supply had not been cut at this stage, its consequences would have been serious, said a senior official.

With a cut of 10 per cent in water supply, the daily water reduction in Punjab canals would be around 2,000 cusecs. “We will close various canals turn by turn to curtail the effect of reduced supply,” said Dullet. The Bist Doab Canal has been closed for some days from this morning, he said.

Scanty rainfall in catchment areas of various rivers feeding Bhakra and Pong reservoirs was the main reason behind receding water levels, he added. “There has not been any significant increase in the inflow into various dam reservoirs this year,” said Dullet.

Till today, the rainfall deficit is about 65 per cent in Punjab and about 50 per cent in Rajasthan.

Water Woes

  • The water flow was cut by 10% after getting consent from the partner states
  • The move was necessitated by plummeting water levels in dam reservoirs
  • The reduction is set to hit paddy transplantation of and watering of other crops

Paddy plantation

Director (Agriculture), Punjab, Mangal Singh Sandhu said paddy had been transplanted in about 26 lakh hectares in the state. "We had fixed a target to transplant paddy in about 27.8 lakh hectares this year. By now, we have achieved 94 per cent of that target. I hope the entire targeted area would be covered in the next one week," he said.





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