Amid monsoon, water level at Pong dam down by 40 ft compared to 2017

In previous years, the dam used to cross 1300 ft level by mid-July, said a senior officer at Bhakhra Beas Management Board (BBMB), Talwara.

Despite the ongoing monsoon rain, the Pong dam in Punjab’s Talwara has seen less rise in water level this rainy season, compared to the previous years. The water from this dam is used for the purpose of irrigation and power generation. On July 22, the level of water was recorded up to 1291 ft, which is around 100 ft below the maximum limit for the dam, and around 40 ft below compared to the records of previous years around this time. This status check comes at a time when quarter of the rainy season is over. The maximum water storage capacity of the dam is 1390 ft.

In previous years, the dam used to cross 1300 ft level by mid-July, said a senior officer at Bhakhra Beas Management Board (BBMB), Talwara. According to available information, in 2017, the water-level was around 1328 ft on July 22, while it was 1338.6 ft in 2015 and 1324.6 ft in 2014 by July 14.

It was 1,286 feet on May 30 this year and has only gone a few feet above during in the rainy season. Pong dam is stated to be the highest earth fill dam in India which falls in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. It is made on the Beas river, while Punjab and Rajasthan share its water for various purposes, including irrigation. Punjab also produces electricity at Talwara dam. “The water level in the dam is 1291 ft and it may go up in the coming days due to rain as currently the reservoir level is not very high,” said Chief engineer BBMB in Talwara, D R Meena, adding that heavy rain in Punjab did not have much to do with the increase in its water level, because its main catchment area is in Himachal Pradesh (HP) and the catchment area must have good regular rain.

He further said that if good amount of water gets into the dam then they would be able to release sufficient amount of water for irrigation purposes too and water goes up to the tail-end of various tributaries, water courses and water channels. “With good reservoir level we are able to produce good amount of electricity,” he said.

He added that they were expecting more rain in the coming week in the catchment area of the dam. Meanwhile Talwara town has been getting heavy rain for the past couple of days.

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