Bhakra almost full, water crosses critical level of 1,670 ft
With the water level in the Bhakra dam reservoir rising one foot everyday in the past week and having crossed the critical point of 1,670 feet, the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) said it will have to open the floodgates if the level goes up by 10 feet more.
Last time, the reservoir floodgates were opened in 2010. The decision was taken in the board’s technical committee meeting in which it was decided not to maintain the water level beyond 1680 feet. Officials from the board’s partner states – Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan — attended the meeting.
To discuss the situation, the board management will meet on August 16 again. On Tuesday, the water inflow into the reservoir was 57,000 cusecs (cubic feet per second). Keeping tabs on the water level, the BBMB last week increased the water outflow from 20,000 cusecs to 31,615 cusecs.
“We want to make an optimum utilisation of the water reaching the reservoir. So we would try to run the 157-megawatt turbine which is currently closed for repair,” said a senior BBMB engineer.
“It’s a good thing as there will be more water in the coming year. At the same time, it can be a cause of worry as we will have to release more water due to more rainfall in the catchment areas of Himachal Pradesh, which can lead to floods downstream. There is no immediate threat though,” said another senior officer.
BBMB chairman DK Sharma said the board will monitor the situation on a day-to-day basis. “Wednesday and Thursday are crucial as the meteorological department has predicted rain in the catchment area of the Sutlej in HP. There is no prediction of rain after August 18 and we are hopeful that the things will be under control.”