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Amid heavy rains in several parts: From Bhakra to Pong, most dams record shortfall in live storage

According to CWC data, the current live storage of Gobind Sagar (Bhakra) dam on the Sutlej river is 15 percentage points less this year till July 29 against the same date last year.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
Updated: August 1, 2021 8:54:54 am
According to CWC data, the current live storage of Gobind Sagar (Bhakra) dam on the Sutlej river is 15 percentage points less this year till July 29 against the same date last year. (File)

It is peak monsoon period and the dams of northern India, including Bhakra dam in Nangal, Pong dam in Talwara and Thein dam in Pathankot, are witnessing current live storage that is less than the average storage of last ten years.

Also, most other dams of the region too are carrying less water in their respective reservoirs compared to their usual level for this period. The all India status of 130 dams, however, is much better than the northern region dams.

According to the reservoir storage bulletin of July 29 of Central Water Commission (CWC), there are 8 reservoirs in the northern region — Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan — which have total live storage capacity of 19.17 billion cubic metre (BCM) but the total live storage in these reservoirs currently is 6.32 BCM, which is 33 per cent of their total live storage capacity. The current live storage during the corresponding period of last year was 44 per cent and average live storage of the last ten years during corresponding period was 48 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.

Live storage capacity means the actual water storage capacity as per safety norms of a dam against its Full Reservoir Level (FRL), which is always higher. Current live storage means water that is available in the reservoir at a particular time.

According to CWC data, the current live storage of Gobind Sagar (Bhakra) dam on the Sutlej river is 15 percentage points less this year till July 29 against the same date last year. Compared to last ten years, it is 22 percentage points lesser. Current live storage of the Bhakra dam was 46 per cent last year and last 10 year’s average live storage stands at 53 per cent for the corresponding monsoon period.

The current live storage capacity of Pong Dam located on river Beas in Talwara is 27 per cent, which is 14 percentage points less than last year, when it was 41 per cent, and the 10 years’ average was 41 per cent too.
Thein dam on Ravi in Pathankot district has shown a decline of 10 percentage points at 36 per cent this year in its live storage as it was 46 per cent last year and the 10 years’ average was 49 per cent.

Till July 29, Bhakra dam was filled up to 482.76 metres against 492 metres last year in the same period, while its total live storage capacity is 512.06 metres. Thein dam’s level is 504.32 metres against 509.17 metres last year and the total live storage capacity of the dam is 527.91 metres.

Pong dam recorded 402.36 metres till July 29, against 407.82 metres level last year and the total live storage capacity of the dam is 423.67 metres.

The benefits of the reservoirs is that they are irrigating over 10 lakh hectares of land in Punjab and also the water to Rajasthan and Haryana has been flowing where also lakhs of hectares are being irrigated. Besides they are running 2,375 Mega Watt (MW) hydel projects.

Apart from five other dams of northern region including Kol Dam (Himachal) has recorded 12 percentage points and 31 percentage points less water as compared to last year and last 10 year’s average, respectively.

While Jhakam, and Bisalpur (in Rajasthan) too have shown fall in current live storage, Mahi Bajaj Sagar (in Rajasthan) has shown 6 percentage points increase in current live storage against last year and 12 percentage points shortfall compared to last 10 year’s average. Rana Pratap Sagar (in Rajasthan) has shown 17 percentage points increase compared to last year and 5 percentage points increase against last 10 year’s average.

Meanwhile the All India status of 130 reservoirs of the country shows a much better storage of the water.

The total live storage capacity of these 130 reservoirs is 174.233 BCM which is about 67.58 per cent of the current live storage capacity of 257.812 BCM. The live storage available in these reservoirs is 85.356 BCM, which is 49% of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. However, last year the live storage available in these reservoirs for the corresponding period was 70.771 BCM and the average of last 10 years live storage was 70.35 BCM. Thus, the live storage available in 130 reservoirs is 121% of the live storage of the corresponding period of last year and 121% of storage of the average of the last ten years.

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