The water level in the Sardar Sarovar dam, located in Kevadia colony of Narmada district, rose to 127.24 metres on Friday, adding four metres to its level of 123.02 metres on June 3. With monsoon yet to set in, the rising water level in the Narmada dam — for the second year in a row — is good news for the state as it is heavily dependent on the dam for water. Officials said that the dam added over 43 centimetres to its level overnight on Friday.
The steady inflow of an average of 6,000 cusecs water into the reservoir upstream from Madhya Pradesh’s Indirasagar dam has meant that the live storage in the Sardar Sarovar basin is 2,593 million cubic metres (MCM).
The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) increased the outflow into the main canal from 6,000 cusecs to 7,117 cusecs on Friday. The Indirasagar dam in MP, which releases the water after power generation to Gujarat, has been steadily contributing to the increase in the water level.
This is the second consecutive year when the basin has risen over the previous overflow level of 121.92 metres, before the work on the installation of 30 gates was completed in 2017 to raise the height of the dam to 138.63 metres. Last year, the Narmada dam reached the momentous figure of 138.63 metres in the extended monsoon in September.
A senior official said that as per the protocol, once the dam reservoir reaches 133 metres, the Riverbed Powerhouse (RBPH) would have to be operated to utilize the water and balance the inflow and outflow as the dam inches closer to its Full Reservoir Level (FRL).
The completion of the Garudeshwar Weir this year, 12 kilometres downstream from the dam, will help retain the water released from the powerhouse — after generation of hydropower — around the Statue of Unity (SoU), which is located 3.5 kilometres downstream. The SoU management plans to start a jetty service that will help tourists travel along the six-kilometres stretch downstream from the statue towards the weir, once tourist activities open after the Covid-19 lockdown ends.
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