Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) chairman AB Agrawal on Monday accepted that there was high threat perception to the Bhakra dam and its canal network, but he added that things were under control and so far there was no major security challenge for the installation.
Talking to mediapersons, Agrawal said, "Not only from the air, the dam can also be attacked from the water course (reservoir). This has been conveyed to us by the intelligence bureau.
"But the bureau is taking care of all security issues and keeping a watch on the dam with help of the sonar system," he said, adding that security in terms of personnel from the Himachal Pradesh police had been beefed up from 195 to 278. According to him, a proposal was made to hand over the security of the dam to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) but partner states, including Punjab and Haryana, refused to foot the security bill running into crores.
Agrawal said there was arrival of less water till the end of the filling season on September 20, but there was no major issue as the BBMB was generating more than the optimum generation capacity and water for drinking purposes for 3 crore population was also being sent regularly.
Water level in the Bhakra dam reservoir till Sunday was 1,656 ft, while last year on the corresponding day it was 1,671 ft. In the Pong reservoir, the level on Sunday was 1,351 ft (last year it was 1373 ft).
Raising concern over staff shortage in the BBMB, Agrawal said partner states Punjab and Haryana didn't have engineers with experience in hydroelectric power generation. "Engineers are available with experience of thermal generation but we need experts who have worked on dams," he said.
The two posts of members in the BBMB - irrigation and power generation - have been vacant for about two months. "We are managing well with the chief engineers. Moreover, members play an advisory role," he said, adding that the appointment of members was done by the union ministry of power after receiving recommendations from the states and he had no role to play in it.
He said there was 25% staff shortage.