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HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Patiala, June 26, 2013
Thanks to widespread rain in the catchments areas of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, the level of the Bhakra reservoir has risen to 1,602.85 ft. Last year, the level was 1,533.31 ft on the corresponding day. The current level is not far from the reservoir's filling capacity of 1,680 ft, even though the full-fledged monsoon is yet to arrive.

The inflow of water in the Bhakra has been registered at 64,894 cusecs. The figure was 39,986 cusecs last year.

The level of Pong Dam has been recorded at 1,321.83 ft, which is 25.96 ft higher than the figure recorded last year (1,295.87 ft). The level of the Ranjit Sagar Dam on June 26 touched the 513.13-metre mark, 13.60 metre more than the level recorded last year on the same day.

The Bhakra Beas Management Board has increased the release of water to the tune of more than 30,000 cusecs per day. Criticising the move, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) said it amounted to wastage of water resources and reflected mismanagement on the part of the BBMB.

Padamjit Singh, AIPEF president, stated that in April and May, the BBMB had neither released adequate water nor generated electricity when it was needed. "Now, the BBMB is unnecessarily releasing water when it is available for irrigation due to the monsoon, even as the rains have decreased the demand for electricity," he added.

Power engineers are also stressing that the BBMB should increase the capacity from 1,680 ft to 1,685 ft since the dam was constructed with the plan of filling the reservoir to the 1,690-ft mark.