The water level of the reservoir of the Bhakra Dam has remained between 1,604 ft and 1,655 ft in the January-June period — the highest in the last 38 years(during the same period).
The dam is one of the largest in India, its reservoir is 1,680 ft high. Till now, its maximum level had remained 1,590-1,653 ft during the January-June period.
Data sourced from the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) revealed that in January, the level of the reservoir was 1,655.43 ft. Before this, the highest-ever level of the dam was recorded at 1,653.17 ft between 1981- 2018. In February this year, the highest level was 1,638.33 ft.
April and May months have seen the highest ever a difference in water level. As on April 1, the level of the dam was 1,615.98 ft against 1,595.50 ft recorded between 1981-2018. In the last week of April and beginning of May, it was 1,623.83 ft against 1590.24 ft.
BBMB sources attributed these high levels to 43 percent surplus rain in Himachal Pradesh during winter months (January and February) and more snowfall in Himachal Himalaya in 2018-19. “Even during this summer, the dam has released on an average 30,000 cusecs of water daily to the downstream to create space in the dam before the rainy season. Majority of this water had flown to Pakistan due to no usage in agriculture and other sectors in Punjab,” said another source in the BBMB. In Punjab and Himachal, monsoon season starts from June and ends in September.
BBMB Chairman Devendra Kumar Sharma did not respond to calls. Director Water Regulation, BBMB, Satish Kumar Singla, confirmed that this year, level of the dam since January till date has been the highest during the same period in the past 38 years.