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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Apr 2014

Rains swell Pong dam reservoir

Naresh K Thakur  Dharamsala, June 17, 2013
First Published: 22:01 IST(17/6/2013) | Last Updated: 22:02 IST(17/6/2013)

The record pre-monsoon showers in the first half of June have led the water level in the Pong Dam reservoir to increase to 1,319 feet, 17 feet more than the previous year's 1302 feet on June 17.

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Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) officials said the water level in the reservoir increased by 6 feet from June 1 to 17.

Southwest monsoon arrived in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday. Most of the hill state has by now experienced moderate to heavy rainfall.

Built over the Bear river, Pong Dam - one of the largest man-made wetlands in northern India - has a storage capacity of 1,395 feet with a danger mark of 1,390 feet.

Officials have attributed the rise in the water level to two factors - melting of glaciers in the upper reaches of Himachal and heavy pre- monsoon showers in catchment areas of the dam.
However, officials said the situation was normal as earlier, too, water level fluctuations had been witnessed in the reservoir when there were abnormal pre-monsoon or southwest monsoon showers.

Last year, the monsoon had reached the state on July 5 and rainfall during that season was 11% deficient, while the pre monsoon showers were also below normal. The state meteorological department says that from June 1 to June 15, the state normally gets 34 mm of rain, but this time the state received 87.4 mm rainfall, which is 155 % more than the average.

Except Kinnaur, and Lahaul and Spit, 10 districts have received excess rainfall during this period. The early onset of monsoon has also marked the start of filling season of the reservoir.


The 2011 nightmare

Water released from Pong dam in August 2011 had wreaked havoc on downstream areas of Jawali and Nupur subdivision in Kangra district. The unprecedented inflow into the reservoir had forced the BBMB authorities to open the floodgates of the dam after a gap of 14 years in 2011.


ADVISORY FOR PEOPLE ON THE BANKS OF BEAS

The district administration has sent an alert to the people living along the banks of the Beas river. “We have issued an advisory to the people living on the banks of the river. Also, local administrative officials have been asked to be prepared for any emergent situation in the coming days,” said Kangra deputy commissioner C Paulrasu.

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