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Power engineers' body warns of floods in Sutlej

The Bhakra Beas Management Board's (BBMB) approach towards management of its reservoirs may prove disastrous for Punjab in view of the high probability of spillage from the Bhakra dam in August and September, according to All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) chairman Padamjit Singh.

chandigarh Updated: Jun 27, 2013 23:09 IST
Bahadurjeet Singh
Bahadurjeet Singh
Hindustan Times

In a letter to the union minister of state for power, he has cautioned that the Bhakra level is abnormally high this year and it could lead to spillage with consequent flooding of Sutlej areas.

He said on the one hand, a flood warning had been issued to alert people living near Sutlej areas in view of opening of the Bhakra spillway, but on the other, the BBMB had cut back on power generation, with about 5,000 cusecs being stored and causing an extra rise of water level of 0.3 ft per day.

The BBMB had increased power generation to the maximum at Bhakra dam during the period of high rainfall early this month and subsequently reduced generation. The release, which was about 38,000 cusecs in the second and third weeks of June, was reduced to 33,000 cusecs.

Padamjit said there was a standing decision of the BBMB that the Bhakra level should not exceed 1,650 ft, 1,670 ft and 1,680 ft on August 1, 15 and 31, respectively. The water level was around 1,602 ft on Thursday as against 1,534 ft on the corresponding day last year.

He said the possibility of flash floods in the Sutlej upstream of the Bhakra dam could not be ruled out due to cloudbursts. "There must be a storage margin available in the dam to meet such eventualities. To do this, reservoir filling must be slowed down, which is possible through maximum generation," said Padamjit.

First Published: Jun 27, 2013 23:08 IST