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Bhakra Dam water level nearing danger mark

india Updated: Sep 04, 2010 16:35 IST

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The water level in the reservoir of the Bhakra Dam on the Sutlej river is inching towards the 1,680-foot maximum storage mark but officials Saturday discounted immediate threat of floods in Punjab.

The water level in the Gobind Sagar reservior of the Bhakra Dam, described by Jawaharlal Nehru as 'one of the temples of modern India', touched the 1,679.75 feet mark Saturday afternoon.

"The water level was 1,678.6 feet till Friday evening. Every day, it is increasing by half to one foot due to rain in the catchment areas in Himachal Pradesh," Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) joint director V.P. Sharma told IANS.

Sharma said that some water could be released through the spillways of the dam but there is no immediate move to open the floodgates of the 225-metre high dam.

"Even when the water level crosses the 1,680 feet mark, we can still hold an additional up to 10 feet (till 1,690 feet). We will discuss the situation if the water level increases further. At present, there is no threat of floods in Punjab," Sharma said.

The release of water from the dam's floodgates downstream of the Sutlej river can cause flooding in several parts of Punjab.

The Bharka Dam itself is located in Himachal Pradesh, along the Punjab-Himachal Pradesh border, 130 km from Chandigarh.

The BBMB earlier said that heavy rainfall in catchment areas of the dam in Himachal Pradesh will cause water level to rise till 1,680 feet by Sep 10. However, owing to heavy rainfall, the water level nearly rose to that level Sep 4.

"Reports suggest that the rainfall in Himachal has decreased in recent days. The water level may not increase in the reservoir as much now due to reduced inflow," Sharma added.