Punjab on red alert after more water released from Bhakra Dam

Chandigarh, August 18: An alert has been sounded in several districts of Punjab due to the release of excess water from Bhakra dam through the spill gates after heavy rainfall in its catchment area on Saturday.

Bhakra
Representative Image

The situation is serious as just 5 feet left to fill the Bhakra Dam to its maximum capacity to carry water. The situation was deteriorated on Saturday after it recorded a water level of 1,674.75 feet, which is around 60 feet more than the corresponding period last year. The maximum filling capacity of Bhakra Dam is 1,680 feet.

People living near the Sutlej river and low lying areas have been advised to be vigilant and take precautions to safeguard themselves. There are reports of crops getting submerged in the water in some villages adjoining the Sutlej river in Anandpur Sahib of Rupnagar district due to the release of excess water and rainfall.

Keeping in view the continuous rainfall in the catchment area of the Dam, the Bhakra Beas Management Board(BBMB) has discharged 17,000 cusecs of excess water out of total release of 53,000 cusecs through the spill gates. The remaining 36,000 cusecs was released after its use for power generation. The water inflow in Bhakra dam has been recorded at 59,000 cusecs, the official said.

Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan are the partnering states which meet their requirement for different purposes, including irrigation, from Bhakra and Pong dams. Both these were to be filled up to the level of 1,680 feet and 1,390 feet respectively by September. The situation further aggravated as on Saturday, rains lashed several places in Punjab, including Ludhiana, Amritsar, Mohali, Chandigarh. An alert has already been sounded in several districts, including Rupnagar, Ludhiana, Ferozepur and downstream areas in the wake of release of excess water from Bhakra dam, the official said.

“An advisory has already been issued to people living near Sutlej river. The district authority is fully geared up to deal with any situation,” Rupnagar Deputy Commissioner Sumeet Jarangal said. The Punjab government had on Friday also issued an alert in the state after a forecast of heavy rainfall in the next 48 to 72 hours. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had directed the deputy commissioners across the state to stay vigilant in view of the MeT department’s prediction and ensure the safety and security of the people.

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