BBMB claims flood gates opened to avoid catastrophy

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Chandigarh, Sep 24 (UNI) The Bhakra Beas Management Board today stressed that it had released the waters from its flood gates on the night of September 21, in the larger public interest to avoid a bigger catastrophy.

Reacting to a number of news items about opening of Bhakra flood gates, the BBMB today issued a statement claiming some of these reports were ''not based on the facts''.

The BBMB, for over four decade experience of operating the Bhakra, Pong and Pandoh Dam/Reservoirs, had taken all major decisions regarding their operations in consultation with partner states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.

In the present case, due to torrential rains in the catchment area in Himachal Pradesh as well as in the plains of Punjab from September 18 to 21, the level of Bhakra had risen to the maximum storage level of 1681 ft on September 21, it said.

As the weather office had forecast further rains in catchment areas for the next day as well, a conscious decision was taken in consultation with Punjab Government on September 21 evening, to release some water gradually so as to have some cushion in the reservoir for absorbing extra water in the likelihood of further rains.

Since all the power generating units were already running to full capacity, about 13,800 Cs water had to be released through spillways (Flood Gates) gradually in over 13 hour period from 2000 hrs on September 21 to 1100 hrs on September 22.

It was ensured that this water would gradually pass through the river without causing any flooding in the adjoining areas, the statement stressed.

''Thus the decision regarding opening of flood gates for releasing extra water was taken in the larger interest of public, so as to avoid a bigger catastrophe in the event of sudden release of bulk water from dam due to heavy inflows from the catchment areas,'' the BBMB release added.

It further clarified that even after the release of excess water as mentioned above the level is still above 1680 ft which is maximum storage level.

UNI JN BP1800

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