Tribune News Service
Shimla, September 24
The gates of almost all the dams and reservoirs in various hydro-power projects in the state have been opened as they are almost inching in close to the danger level.
Flushing is being done in almost all projects even though the bigger storage reservoirs of Bhakra and Pong are yet to reach the danger level. With there being no let up in the incessant rains, gates of most dams - Chamera –I, II, III, Baira Siul, Kol, Nangal, Baspa, Shongtong and Larji were opened for flushing. The highest discharge of 11,729.76 cusecs was from Karcham hydro-project followed by 10306.93 cusecs from Shongtong project, both in the Kinnuar in the Satluj basin.
“Gates of most dams in the higher parts of the state have been opened since they are not designed to have big storage capacity. However, there Bhakra and Pong dams still have a lot of storage space and there is no threat anywhere as of now,” remarked DC Rana, Special Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management. Himachal Pradesh officials concerned have been in constant touch with Punjab Government to ensure that information of gates being opened is given to people living downstream.
He said the phenomena of extreme events - a new normal situation where some places in the state had received more than 2,000 per cent more rainfall than normal — was a worrisome development. Chamba received 131.5 mm rainfall on Monday which is 2,207 per cent more than normal, Kangra 102.9 mm rain which is 1,391 per cent more than normal and Hamirpur 45.3 mm rain which is 1,005 per cent more than normal.
Locals residing in the downstream areas have been warned against venturing close to the riverside. Those residing close to the habitation have been shifted out which includes 600 students of Jawahar Navodya and 100 students of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyala, both in Chamba.
The water level in the Pong Dam on Monday touched 1,385.55 feet, almost close to the danger mark of 1,390 feet. “We have decided to release 49,000 cusecs water from Pong Dam from 2 pm onwards tomorrow, which could be advanced in case there is sudden rise in level,” said Balram Chand, SDM Fatehpur in Kangra district.
The phenomena of extreme events — a new normal situation where some places in the state had received more than 2,000 per cent more rainfall than normal — was a worrisome development.
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