The water level in Kaushalya Dam crossed its danger mark and its gates were opened to release water on its spillway around 11 am on Wednesday. The dam, which had remained almost full to the brink standing at 477 m since August 27, finally crossed its danger level at 478 m.
Ghaggar river, with its danger level at 1.9 m, was recorded at a bare 0.15 m. “The water has not swelled as yet due to lesser rains recorded in Panchkula in the past few weeks, but it is expected to rise as Kaushalya Dam has started releasing water. We still believe it will not cross the danger level for a few more weeks,” said SDO Kuldeep Vats of the Irrigation department.
The water in the dam as per officials, has risen slowly without any sudden swell as Himachal Pradesh has been recording continuous showers. To stop the dam from overflowing, the authorities released about 30 cusecs of water continuously for 2.5 hours on Wednesday.
“We are keeping the dam levels stable at 478 m which is the full reservoir capacity and also the danger level. We are keeping a close eye on the increase in levels and will release water again in the night, if needed, to keep the dam from overflowing. We are taking all precautions with the help of the police department,” said SDO Munish Dhiman, who works at the project sub-division.
The dam had overflowed last year in mid-August and the river too had touched its danger levels.
Special care is being taken to not flood the river by releasing a large amount of water in a short span of time, insisted an official.
In September 2018, the incessant rain had not only filled up the reservoir and the river to its brink but had also flooded other rivers flowing through the area. As the water level in the dam’s reservoir crossed the danger mark of 478 m, the sluice gates were opened to let it flow. The water had destroyed several hutments and parts of the national highway (NH-22).
Taking precautions this year, the Deputy Commissioner early August had held a meeting with the Irrigation department officials and had asked the panchayats to guard their boundaries, so that there was no loss of life and property. He had also ordered the police patrol to remain cautious in the areas of Burjkotia, Kaushalya Dam and Majri Chowk, which are near the river.
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