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Pong Dam's downstream areas flooded

india Updated: Aug 10, 2013 23:54 IST
Naresh K Thakur

As rainfall in Himachal Pradesh remained low on Saturday, around a dozen panchayats in Mand area of Nurpur sub-division in Kangra district were flooded after the release of 60,000 cusecs of water from Maharana Pratap Sagar Reservoir in Pong Dam.

The flood situation is worse in Mandvihani and Badhukhar panchayats, bordering Punjab where around 200 hectares of agricultural land has submerged, while six villages were evacuated owing to increase in water level.

The worst affected are Bahadurpur and Mand Sanaur area where 21 houses were inundated.
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has been discharging water through spillways of Pong Dam since August 6 as the inflow had increased due to torrential rains in the catchment area of the dam.

The inflow of water into the reservoir on Saturday was recorded at 94,000 cusecs. The BBMB authorities discharged 60,000 cusecs of water in the Beas river through floodgates.
The authorities had opened six floodgates of the dam up to 9 feet on Friday. The height, however, decreased by 1 foot on Saturday.

The water level at the reservoir stood at 13,80 feet on Saturday, which is 57 feet higher as compared to last year's 1,323 feet on the same date.

Deputy commissioner C Pal Rasu said that six villages are affected. "Water has entered houses while paddy, maize and sugarcane have been damaged," he said.

On the precautionary measures being taken by the district administration, Pal Rasu said warning had been issued in villages situated downstream of the Dam and boats had been arranged to evacuate people in the case of emergency.

The DC said damage caused to crops and houses in Mand area was being accessed and a report was expected to come by Sunday. He said situation was under control as the BBMB authorities had informed the district administration about water release.

"According to the BBMB authorities, there is a possibility of releasing 1 lakh cusecs of water from the dam reservoir, so we have alerted people of the area to move to safer places," Pal Rasu said.

Meanwhile, Fatehpur naib tehsildar said 21 houses of Bahadur area that were inundated had been evacuated, while alert has been issued to other villages. "We are monitoring the situation and revenue officer of the area has been made the field officer who will submit a report about the situation to the administration every day."

The Met department has predicted heavy rains in the next 24 hours throughout the state. This could aggravate the situation in the area.

The BBMB authorities were forced to open the floodgates after 14 years in August 2011, causing massive devastation in downstream areas that affected nearly 250 people. The administration had then faced difficulty in evacuated flooded areas and directed the BBMB to send an alert about the water release three days in advance.