In a first in 31 years, River Sutlej has recorded highest ever flow since 1988 and carrying 75,000 cusecs more water beyond its capacity of around 2 lakh cusecs. Sutlej recorded 2.75 lakh cusecs water flow on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday at Phillaur, which is highest ever after 1988 floods.
On Monday, the water flow in the river from Ropar had come down to 76,942 cusecs in the morning which reduced further to 54,526 cusecs at 7 pm. It was on September 9, 1988 that the river carried 4,55,411 cusecs of water leading to the worst ever floods in Punjab.
Chief Engineer and head of Punjab Drainage Department, Sanjiv Kumar Gupta, confirmed the development. On Sunday night, 2.65 lakh cusecs flow was recorded at Phillaur.
He said that the maximum carrying capacity of the river is 2 lakh cusecs from Ropar to Harike passage.
Meanwhile, Bhakhra dam increased the release of water from 55,000 cusecs to 77,000 cusecs on Monday, which included 35,000 cusecs which is regularly required for running of the power generators units.
Almost 76,000 cusecs would be released on Tuesday too.
“Bhakra Dam has saved the areas down stream by holding water beyond its permissible limit and releasing just a moderate amount so that the situation in Sutlej remains manageable ahead of Ropar head works where 2 lakh cusecs water of the local rivulets flowed into the river due to heavy rain. Now when there is no major rain activity in the catchment area of the dam and downstream for next four days, we can bring the water level to the permissible limit, which is 1680 feet, in the reservoir by releasing 60,000 to 70,000 cusecs daily,” said director, Water Regulation, Bhakhra Beas Management Board (BBMB) Satish Singla.