Water level in Bhakra, Pong dam zooms up

Shimla, June 18 (IANS) Heavy rainfall has alarmingly increased the water level in Himachal Pradesh’s Pong and Bhakra dams, officials said Tuesday.

The monsoon enables both dams, which serve the irrigation requirements of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, to store water.

“The water level in the Bhakra dam’s Gobind Sagar reservoir and the Pong dam reservoir stood at 1,596 feet and 1,319 feet, respectively, Tuesday,” an official of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), which manages both the dams built on the Punjab-Himachal border, told IANS.

He said the water levels in Bhakra dam and Pong dam were 1,530 feet and 1,302 feet, respectively, the same day last year.

This means that the water level in Bhakra dam was 66 feet high compared to last year, while it was 17 feet more in the Pong dam reservoir.

Authorities said the water level was at a comfortable level as the southwest monsoon has intensified and arrived well in advance in the region.

“Even there were heavy pre-monsoon showers in catchment (area) of both the dams,” an official said.

The weather office in Shimla said the cumulative rainfall in the state from June 1 to 17 was 151.2 mm, which was 293 percent more than normal.

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

The official data said the maximum capacity in Bhakra dam is 1,702 feet, while the upper limit in Pong dam reservoir is 1,393 feet.

The water level in Bhakra dam was recorded at 1,537 feet July 4, 2012, the day before the arrival of the monsoon in the state, while at Pong it stood at 1,289 feet on that day.

When the monsoon withdrew from the state Sep 26 last year, Bhakra got 120 feet of water, while Pong got 97 feet in 84 days.

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