BBMB to release more water from Bhakra Dam, managing level to minimise flood impact in Punjab

VINOD GUPTA | August 20, 2019 05:40 PM

CHANDIGARH: Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has   done excellent water management this time as it allowed water level to raise above 1680 feet a self imposed upper limit set for reservoir filling by the end of August.

Today with an inflow of more than 90,000 cusecs, BBMB officials expect the water level to rise by 2 feet and touching the record of   1,683 feet by late night. The water release may be further increased if necessitated, said an official. BBMB on Monday increased the water releases through spillways from 19000 cusecs to 40000 cusecs by increasing the opening of the flood gates from 3 to 8 feet. This was necessary to control the increase in water level in Gobind Sagar of Bhakra Dam.

If BBMB had released more water through spill gates earlier to keep the water level around 1678 feet the damage in Punjab would have been more. The districts of Ropar, Ludhiana, Nawanshahr and Ferozepur were flooded by water released from Bhakra Dam. Army has been called in many places to evacuate people to safe places.                     .

The water level touched the record of 1681.3 feet on Monday after the inflows in to the reservoir increased to more than 3.1 lacs cusecs on Sunday after heavy rainfall in the catchment areas in Himachal. The increase of water level by 4 feet is quite abnormal. The total water releases through machines and spillway are around 75000 cusecs.

The flood gates were opened on August 16 after the water level crossed the 1675 feet water level with the heavy rains forecast for next three days. The maximum water storage level allowed in the reservoir fixed by the BBMB authorities is 1680 feet while in past filling up to 1685 or 1686 feet was common, since Dam has a full design level of 1690 feet. The generation at pong and Dehar has been reduced to zero to avoid further flooding of Punjab. The water level in Ranjit Sagar dam is 523.66 meters.

Bhakra power house generated 333.5 lac units with maximum peak demand of 1414MW against declared capacity of 1380 MW.

The metrological department has now predicted scattered and light rainfall and BBMB will be able to maintain water level around 1680 feet by the end of filling season on September 20.

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