With heavy rain lashing Punjab and Himachal Pradesh over the past couple of days, district authorities are closely monitoring water level in the Beas and the Ravi rivers that surround the district.
As the first step to prevent flooding in villages along the tributaries of the Ravi, the authorities released 2,500 cubic feet per second (cusec) of water towards Pakistan from the Madhopur barrage (artificial water-storing structure of a dam) on Saturday. This takes the total water released so far to 5,000 cusec as 2,500 cusec was also released on Friday.
A release of 1 cusec means that 29 litres of water flows out per second.
The water level at the Ranjit Sagar Lake Dam is being monitored. On Saturday, it was found to be 523.1 m. Officials claimed that if the level touched 527.91m, only then they would be forced to release water through the spillway (a structure for controlled release of water from dams).
At the Bamyal Sector on the India-Pakistan international border, officials of the Border Security Force (BSF) are also on alert as the Ravi is joined by the Ujj river in the area.
With the two rivers meeting in the area, the danger of floods in the lower areas of the state along the Ravi is always pronounced and thus extra vigil is maintained.
“The water level in the Ujj has risen, but it is yet to touch the danger mark,” said deputy superintendent of police Prabhjot Singh Virk.
However, with the meteorological department predicting heavy rains over the next few days, Virk has instructed officials to keep vigil round the clock.
“The Bamyal police station was submerged last year. We are not taking any chances and our force is on high alert,” the DSP added.
Ranjit Sagar Dam executive engineer RL Mittal said, “Three units of the dam are functioning and the water level in the lake is under control. Some water is being released towards Pakistan as the tributaries and the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) cannot hold water beyond a fixed capacity. With heavy rain predicted, we are on alert.”
Pathankot deputy commissioner Sukhvinder Singh claimed that a flood monitoring station had been set up at Paharipur village on the India-Pakistan border.
“We are ready to deal with any kind of situation. The residents of this area, the Gujjars, have been warned to shift from the banks of the rivers. We hope there is no loss from floods this year,” the DC added.