Water intake in Pong dam reduces, spillways still open

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HimVani

Shimla: The intake of water into Pong dam came down sharply today as there was scanty rainfall in its catchments areas, however spillways have still not been closed to flush out excess water as a precautionary measure.

The gates were opened for the first time in 15 years on Tuesday as water level touched 1,394.25 ft against the danger mark of 1,390 ft. However, the dam can store water up to 1,395 ft.

KC Rana, XEN (Water Regulation), Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) told HimVani over telephone that the water level was 1,394.49 ft at 9 am and the inflow was 33,000 cusecs.” He said the inflow in the reservoir has reduced from Tuesday’s 65,000 cusecs. It was 1.85 lakh cusecs on Monday.

Rana said the spillgates would remain open on Wednesday to discharge an additional 15,000 cusecs of water into the Beas river. He said around 33,000 cusecs water would be released, which includes 18,000 cusecs through normal operation of turbines. BBMB has said the areas located downstream of the dam can normally accommodate discharge up to 50,000 cusecs.

“The discharge up to 50,000 cusecs is not treated as flooding,” BBMB chief engineer VN Goel said. For the next few days, 15,000 additional cusecs would be released from the spillway gates, he said.

The spillways were earlier opened in 1988 and 1995. One of the largest manmade wetlands in northern India, the Pong dam reservoir is spread over an area of 41 km with a maximum width of 19 km in Himachal Pradesh. It came into existence after the construction of a dam on the Beas river in 1975.

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