Glacial and snow melting keeps dams brimming in Himachal | india | Hindustan Times
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Glacial and snow melting keeps dams brimming in Himachal

While plains in North India are sweltering with heat, constant rise in temperature in hills has accelerated glacial and snow melting leading to more discharge in rivers originating from Himalayas.

india Updated: May 13, 2011 02:58 IST
Gaurav Bisht

While plains in North India are sweltering with heat, constant rise in temperature in hills has accelerated glacial and snow melting leading to more discharge in rivers originating from Himalayas. Glacial melting has kept dams in Himachal Pradesh brimming, bringing cheers for farmers living in plains.

The water -level in snow fed rivers has shown an unprecedented increase during past few days, compelling authorities to issue warning to the people living down stream the reservoir. “ The water level is rising in the dams and there is strong possibility that we may have to release water from the reservoir,” says Brigadier (retd) Sudhir Uppal senior General Manager at 1000- megawatt Karcham Wangtoo hydle project in Kinnaur district. “Repeated warning are being issued to people in the area not to venture downstream, “ said Uppal, even as first 250 MW units would begin its operation on May 15. Jaypee Hydro Power Corporation is executing Karcham Wangtoo project.

Largest private sector hydle power project is run off the river project on Baspa, which originates close to Tibet. Baspa River has been dammed at Karcham in Kinnaur district and diverted through a tunnel to utilize the head for generating electricity at the underground powerhouse at downstream Wangtoo. In the wake of rise in the water level the company had few days back issued advertisement about possibility of flooding in valley.

“ Snow melting at Sutlej basin is more this time,” says Sudhir Uppal, while he added that the situation was also alarming at 300 megawatt Baspa project. “ The water level at the dam is constantly rising, “ said Uppal.

Rapidly melting snow in catchment of Sutlej and its other tributaries Spiti and Pareechu Rivers have led to more water inflow in reservoirs of 1500 megawatt Nathpa Jhakri Hydle power project. The authorities at Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL) say that the dam was brimming with water, resulting in more electricity generation. The power generation in the project was 33 million units yesterday and the water inflow in the dams had been registered at 362 cumecs.

While last year on May 11 the water inflow in dam was recorded at 338 cumecs and power generation was recorded 31 millions units. In 2009, project was able to generate only 128 units of electricity. The water flow was also more in Spiti river that confluences with Sutlej in Khab in district Kinnaur. “ The water flow in dam is 10 % more than what it was last year” Assistant General Manager for corporate communication, SJVNL, Vijay Verma told Hindustan Times.

According to hydrologist at SJVNL, water discharge is gradually rising in Pareechu river that wrecked havoc in 2005, when lake formed across its course due to landslide in Tibet had busted.

Not only glacial melting metrologists attribute increasing water in the river to more snow in the mountains. “ This time snow cover is more than last year, and rising temperature has led to more snow melting this time” observed Manmohan Singh Director, Metrological department Shimla.

The reservoir of Maharana Pratap Sagar (Pong) situated on border with Punjab continuing to receive more water than previous year. The water level in the dam that was recorded was recorded 1348, 78 feet, while it was well below 13000 feet during the corresponding period last year. Bhakra Beas management Board last year had to open the spillway gates at Pong dam after the water level crossed the 1400 feet danger mark.