The flour floodgates of Bhakra Dam were opened on Monday morning.
The gates were opened by Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) authorities up to one foot around 11 am to release 2,700 cusecs water downstream Sutlej. The gates were opened up to two feet at 2 pm to release 6,000 cusecs water. By 5 pm, 9,700 cusecs water was discharged.
The total discharge from the Bhakra dam was 49,900 cusecs in the evening which included 40,200 cusecs being released through turbines.
The water-level at Bhakra dam was recorded at 1,663 feet in the noon and the inflow at the dam was about 90,000 cusecs.
With water flow in Swan river, a tributary of Sutlej, decreasing since Sunday, the opening of floodgates did not cause much concern among the district authorities. The Swan river merges with the Sutlej near Anandpur Sahib.
On Sunday, the situation had worsened in already inundated villages in Anandpur Sahib sub- division due to excessive overflow. A BBMB technical committee will review the situation at Bhakra and Pong dams on Tuesday.
The experts, meanwhile, have questioned the wisdom of the BBMB to open the floodgates so early saying that there was no emergency.
A retired chief engineer of the Punjab State Electricity Board, pleading anonymity, said the Bhakra water-level is required to be kept at 1,650 feet by July 31, 1,670 feet by August 15 and 1,680 feet by August 31.
Since there was a margin of seven feet till August 15, there was no immediate need to open the floodgates.
He maintained that the Bhakra dam is designed to store up to 1,690 feet water.
He said the BBMB should be guided by the national forecast of monsoon, which predicts deficient monsoon this year, to regulate the filling of the dam.