Even as the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BMBB) has told the Punjab government that it might resort to controlled spillage from the Bhakra reservoir if the water level crosses the 1,650-ft mark in July, the All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) has said that there is no need for such a step before the level reaches 1,670 ft.
In a letter to the union power ministry and the state government, the AIPEF said the BBMB management was working in the panic mode after having failed to use water optimally during April and May.
The BBMB chairman, AB Agrawal, recently met the Punjab chief minister and proposed that controlled spillage would be done at Bhakra so that concentrated spillage in August/September could be avoided. As per the BBMB, the water level should not be higher than 1,650 ft on July 31.
"From July 1 to 9, the level increased from 1,614.3 ft to 1,629.57 ft (average rise of 1.7 ft per day). From July 10 to 16, the level increased to 1,636.17 ft (0.94 ft per day).
If the present trend of 1-ft rise per day continues, the level on July 31 would just about cross 1,650 ft," said Padamjit Singh, AIPEF chairman.
The federation is of the view that pre-emptive spillage should be resorted to only if the level of 1,670 ft is reached before August 25. Also, the filling limit should be raised from 1,680 to 1,685 ft as on September 20. The BBMB must convene a meeting of partner states to decide a higher level, Padamjit wrote to the union ministry, seeking its intervention.
"There is a clear possibility that the BBMB may panic and go in for unnecessary pre-emptive spillage around 1,650 ft," he asked.
Despite several attempts, BBMB chairman AB Agrawal could not be contacted for comment.