BBMB not to release excess water from dams till flood situation in Punjab and Haryana normalises : The Tribune India

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BBMB not to release excess water from dams till flood situation in Punjab and Haryana normalises

Punjab objects to the release of additional water, pointing out that water level in reservoir at present was much below the top mark, while rivers and streams in many places in the state were swollen

BBMB not to release excess water from dams till flood situation in Punjab and Haryana normalises

A view of Bhakra Dam. Tribune file



Tribune News Service

Vijay Mohan

Chandigarh, July 12

The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) will not release any excess water from the Bhakra and Pong dams on the Sutlej and Beas, respectively, till the situation in the flood-hit areas of Punjab and Haryana normalises.

A special Technical Committee Meeting comprising BBMB officials and representatives of the member states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi was held today, in which the matter was discussed.

Though BBMB has not released any water over and above the requirement of its partner states, a communication was sent to the concerned state authorities on July 11 that an extra 16,000 cusecs of water would be released from Bhakra on July 13 in addition to the 19,000 cusecs being released in routine.

Punjab had objected to this move pointing out that there was no requirement for releasing extra water from the dam when the water level in the reservoir at present was much below the top mark, while rivers and streams in many places in the state were swollen.

During the meeting, the position of dams was reviewed and the position of water logging in the downstream areas of Punjab and Haryana was also discussed. It was decided that day to day coordination with state authorities will be maintained in this regard, BBMB Chairman, Nand Lal Sharma said. The situation will be reviewed after 3-4 days and further action shall be taken accordingly, he added.

As on July 12, the water level at Bhakra Dam was recorded at 1628.72 feet against the full reservoir level of 1,680 feet, while at Pong the water level was 1,363.96 feet against the top mark of 1,390 feet respectively.

According to the BBMB, the position of these reservoirs is comfortable as there is still a vacant capacity of 40 percent at Bhakra and 31 percent at Pong, offering enough leeway to absorb heavy inflows if required in the coming dams.

During the torrential rains over the past four days, a staggering 4,45,037 cusecs (1,088 million cubic meters) of water flowed into the Bhakra Dam and about 6,25,554 cusecs (1,530 million cubic meters) flowed into the Pong Dam.

Due to this extraordinary influx of water in the dams, the level in Bhakra Dam has risen by 22.1 feet and in Pong Dam the level has risen by 25.09 feet in the past four days, Sharma said.

The rains, leading to overflowing rivers and floods, and caused widespread havoc in north India. This colossal volume of water was stored within the reservoirs, preventing further escalation of floodwaters downstream of the dams.

Sharma said that the monsoon season has just started and will continue till the end of September and in order to be prepared for any such eventuality in future, BBMB may have to increase the releases from its dams in a controlled manner in the days to come.

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