Tribune News Service
Anandpur Sahib, August 17
A day after floodgates of Bhakra Dam were opened due to increase in the water level in the reservoir and forecast of downpour in the catchment area, the Sutlej water flooded fields of nearly a dozen villages.
The water entered the fields from the damaged part of a bandh near Lodhipur. Villages such as Burj, Chandpur Bela, Nikkuwal, Mendali Kalan, Dasgrain, Khanpur, Bela Dhiani, Shahpur Bela and Gajpur were in knee-deep water. Nearly 10 houses at Dasgrain village were also inundated. Besides, a culvert near Bela Dhiana village was damaged, which cut off the village from adjoining areas.
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The situation turned more alarming with the rising water level of the Swan river, a tributary of the Sutlej. A total of 53,200 cusecs has been released from the Bhakra Dam since 3.30 pm yesterday. The water level at Bhakra touched 1,674.61 ft at 1 pm, up from 1,673 ft at 6 am yesterday. Water can be stored in the reservoir up to 1,685 feet only.
Sources said the BBMB had been releasing 40,000 cusecs in the Sutlej and the remaining water was being discharged in canals. The report of rising water flow in the Swan, which emanates from Himachal Pradesh and merges with the Sutlej near Anandpur Sahib, has further aggravated the situation. Due to incessant rains in Himachal Pradesh, the water flow in the Swan was recorded at 29,000 cusecs at 5 pm. The water will reach here around 10 pm and after merging with 40,000 cusecs of the Sutlej, it can play havoc in the area.
Ropar Deputy Commissioner Sumeet Jarangal, who visited the affected villages, said he would meet senior BBMB officials to apprise them of the situation and seek remedial measures, including reduction in the release of water from the dam.
Late in the evening, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh tweeted that the NDRF had been summoned to monitor the situation.
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