Pong dam brimming, Bhakra short of water

Shimla:  With the end of the monsoon, the water level in Himachal Pradesh’s Pong dam is close to the upper limit, while the Bhakra dam is far from full, officials said Tuesday.

Both the dams serve the irrigation requirements of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The monsoon – generally referred to as the dam filling season – normally ends in the last week of September every year.

“The water level in the Bhakra dam’s Gobind Sagar and the Pong dam reservoir Tuesday stood at 1,657 feet and 1,386 feet, respectively,” said an official of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), which manages both the dams built on the Punjab-Himachal border.

The water levels in Bhakra and Pong dams were 1,679 feet and 1,389 feet, respectively, the same day last year.

The official data said the water level in Bhakra dam was still 23 feet below the maximum capacity, while it was four feet lower than the upper limit in Pong dam reservoir.

In the past four years, 2009 was the leanest year when water in both dams was at the lowest ebb. It was 1,638 feet on this day in Bhakra, while it was 1,338 feet in Pong.

The officials attributed the maximum decline in the water level in that year to 36 percent less rainfall during monsoon.

This year the monsoon, which withdrew from the state Sep 26, was deficient by 11 percent.

The weather office in Shimla said 2012 was the second consecutive year in the state when the rainfall was deficient. Last year it was eight percent below normal.

However, in 2010 it got 16 percent more than normal.

While the Bhakra dam is built on the Sutlej river, the Pong Dam is on the Beas river.

The water level in Bhakra dam was recorded at 1,537 feet July 4 this year, a day before the arrival of the monsoon in the state, while at Pong it stood at 1,289 feet.

This means in two months, Bhakra got 120 feet of water, while Pong got 97 feet.


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