The water-level in the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada, which has been steadily rising since August 11, may soon touch the Full Reservoir Level of 138.68 meters, officials estimate as the two dams upstream in Madhya Pradesh began releasing water on Monday.
The Indirasagar and Omkareshwar dams in Madhya Pradesh on Monday opened their 12 and 16 gates respectively to release water. With an inflow of over 6.8 lakh cusec into the Sardar Sarovar, the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) as a precaution cut back the level of the dam from 136.3 meters to 136.02 meters on Monday to ensure a safe balance even as the dam inches up to its FRL.
More than 40 villages along River Narmada around the Sardar Sarovar dam have been put on high alert after the inflow of water into the dam rose on Monday. With Madhya Pradesh’s Indirasagar and Omkareshwar dams opening their gates, the current outflow from Sardar Sarovar dam has been increased to 8 lakh cusec through its 23 open gates to maintain a balance.
With the Sardar Sarovar’s riverbed and canal head powerhouses also operating at full capacity, the authorities are ensuring that the rise in the dam level is maintained at a balance as per protocol.
While officials say the dam may take at least a couple of days to reach the 136.68 metre FRL mark, provided that the inflow is the same, about 40 villages have been put on alert as the heavy flow downstream of the dam has resulted in a flood-like situation. Gora village on the other side of the Statue of Unity has been cut off due to the rising level of the river, which is flowing two metres above the lone bridge that joins the village to the district.
In Bharuch too, the rising level Narmada has become a cause of worry as the river is flowing at 24 feet near Golden bridge, two feet over its danger mark. Live storage in the Sardar Sarovar basin is 4,870 million cubic metres.