BBMB to release 26,000 cusecs water from Pong Dam today, alert sounded
A flood alert has been sounded to the people living in the downstream areas in Kangra district, following release of excess water from the Pong Dam on Wednesday, as the water level in the reservoir has neared the danger mark.
The release of excess water from Pong Dam, which is located on Beas river, may create a flood-like situation in parts of Punjab, some areas of which are already facing floods after release of excess water from the Bhakra Dam a few days ago.
The water level in Pong Dam reservoir was recorded at 1,386.02 feet on Tuesday noon, which is very close to the danger mark of 1,390 feet, while inflows to the tune of 19,263 cusecs were being received.
The Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB)’s technical committee, in a meeting held on Tuesday, decided that the reservoir should not be filled beyond 1,387 feet.
“Considering the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast of good rains in coming days, the water level in the reservoir is expected to reach 1,387 feet in coming days,” said Kangra deputy commissioner Rakesh Kumar Prajapatim, adding that the BBMB authorities have decided to release 26,000 cusecs water from the Pong Dam reservoir by opening its spillways from September 4.
Presently, 12,000 cusecs water is being released through turbines.
Authorities in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have been conveyed the decision and have been asked to give suitable instructions to irrigation, drainage and civil authorities to take necessary action accordingly.
“The proposed release being low is likely to cause any crisis. Still, we have put the downstream areas in Indora and Fatehpur on alert and the revenue officials have been directed to take necessary steps,” said the deputy commissioner, adding that the residents have been told to remain cautious and not to venture near the river.
Sprawling over 24,000 hectares, the man-made water body is 42-km long and 19- km broad. The Pong reservoir can store water upto 1,395 feet water and the spillway is controlled by six radial gates. The dam has a discharging capacity of approximately 4,37,000 cusecs water.
The IMD has forecast rains and thunderstorm in most part of the state till September 6.
“Rains and thunderstorm would likely occur in higher and middle hills and plain areas till Friday,” said Shimla Meteorological (MeT) centre director Manmohan Singh.
Light rain occurred at some places in the state as monsoon weakened over the hill-state, the MeT department said.
“Monsoon was weak across the state during last 24 hours and light rains occurred at isolated places. There was no appreciable change in minimum temperatures while maximum temperatures increased by 1 to 2 degrees Celsius,” he added.
Kufri and Chail received 6 mm rain each between Monday evening and Tuesday morning followed by Paonta Sahib (5 mm), Shimla (2.1 mm) and Dalhousie (1 mm).
The highest temperature was recorded in Una at 36°C and the lowest was in Lahaul and Spiti’s administrative centre Keylong at 10.8°C.
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