Despite the poor pre-monsoon period (June) in Punjab, all three dams of Punjab are at a much higher level than the last year when the state witnessed surplus pre-monsoon rains. Also, with continuous rain over the past five days, the reservoirs may reach the highest level soon. This may cause a flood like situation in the down stream area due to heavy release of water from dams to make a space as over two months of rainy season still lies ahead.
This year in the pre-monsoon period, 50 per cent less rain came against what is required.
According to the Central Water Commission (CWC), the reservoirs of Bhakra, Pong and Thein dams are filled up to 46 per cent, 33 per cent and 49 per cent respectively, till July 11 and this is much above the last years’ level when the three were filed upto 8 per cent, 7 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively on the same date. The current year storage, which is 41 per cent of the capacity of these reservoirs, is better than the average storage in past decade which was 31 per cent.
Even the current storage is above the last 10 years’ average storage of Bhakra, Pong and Thein — 34 per cent, 24 per cent and 47 per cent, respectively.
The total live storage capacity of these dams is 14.73 billion cubic metres (BCM) and as per CWC, the live storage available in these reservoirs is 6.055 BCM which is 41 per cent of total live storage capacity of these reservoirs.
The storage during corresponding period of last year was 17 per cent and average storage of last ten years during corresponding period was 31 per cent of live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Thus, storage during current year is better than the corresponding period of last year and is also better than the average storage of last ten years during the corresponding period, as per CWC.
Till July 11, Bhakra dam was filled up to 492.33 meters against the total storage capacity of 512.06 metres, Pong dam recorded 404.76 metres level currently against the highest capacity of 423.67 metres and Thein dam’s level is 510.71 metres against the total capacity of 527.91 metres.
Director, Punjab Agriculture Department, Dr Sutantra Airy, said that where there is less rain and more water in our reservoirs, it is good for state like Punjab where huge area under the paddy crop is cultivated.