With water level in reservoirs of the Bhakra dam and the Pong dam dipping below respective 40-year average, the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) has called an emergency meeting. Partner states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan will attend this technical committee meeting (TCM), where a plan for conservation of water will be drawn up. A BBMB source said the meeting would take place before April 10.

Bhakra and Pong dams are on the Sutlej and the Beas rivers, respectively. The outflow from the two reservoirs is more than the inflow, as there is no rain in catchment areas and there is no prediction of showers.

On Sunday, the water level in Bhakhra dam’s reservoir was 1,533.3 feet, 64 feet lower than the level at the same time last year, and nine feet lower than the 40-year average on the same day. Similarly, Pong dam had water level at 298.8 feet, 60 feet lower, and at least 23 feet below its 40-year average.

“The water levels have dipped to alarming levels,” said a top functionary of the BBMB, on the condition of anonymity.

The drop in water level is also significant from the maximum and the minimum readings: Bhakhra 1,680 and 1,462 feet, and Pong 1,390 and 1,260 feet. The Pong’s water level is critically low as a fall of 30 feet will empty the reservoir. Water levels are receding at rate of a feet per week and the filling season would not begin before June 1, and would extend up to September 20.


Source: 05 April, 2021, Hindustan Times