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Dams almost full in West Bengal due to heavy rain; Water discharge to rise: Officials

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Kolkata, July 31: Discharge of water from dams and barrages in West Bengal is set to increase as the storage facilities are almost full with heavy rainfall across the state for the last two days, officials said on Saturday.


The inflow of water to these facilities is going up due to incessant rain in the state and neighbouring Jharkhand, they said. The West Bengal government permitted Damodar Valley Corporation to discharge up to 1 lakh cusec of water, an official said.

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"The situation is alarming with heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours. We have tried to restrict water release. Discharge from Panchet and Maithon on Saturday is within the green zone which is up to 50,000 cusec. But incessant rain of about 100 mm in the upstream is a threat. Tenughat dam in Jharkhand released 90,000 cusec of water today and it will take 7-8 hours to reach Panchet dam," DVC executive director S Banerjee told reporters.

Maithon released 49,000 cusec on July 31 due to a downpour of 100-150 mm, a state government official claimed. Parts of Paschim Bardhaman, Howrah, Hooghly and Bankura districts may witness inundation if more water is released from the DVC dams, he said.

The state government is, however, proactively opening relief camps in places that may witness floods due to the discharge of water from dams and barrages, the official said.

For instance, the Paschim Medinipur administration has opened 212 relief camps where around 12,000 people have taken shelter. In the past, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had accused DVC of suddenly releasing a high volume of water that caused floods.

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The DVC authorities had denied such an allegation as water discharge is regulated by Damodar Valley Reservoir Regulation Committee which comprises a representative of the state government, the official of the entity said.

The optimum pond level of Durgapur barrage is 211.5 ft, and water reaches the maximum limit, which is a "concern", the state government official said. Teesta barrage water level also reaches the maximum limit of 375 ft and the authorities released nearly 90,000 cusec, he said.

Moreover, the situation of Mahananda and Tilpara barrages is a matter of concern, he said, adding that water discharge from Jharkhand has a direct impact on storage facilities in West Bengal.

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