Chandigarh, May 18 (PTI) The Bhakra and Beas Management Board (BBMB) today imposed a 15 per cent cut on the water being supplied to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan from the Bhakra and Pong dams. Also Read - Rajasthan: CLP Meet Ends, Congress Vows to Bring Confidence Motion in Assembly Tomorrow

The decision was taken because of low-level of water in the dams, officials said. Also Read - Rajasthan Political Crisis: Suspended Congress MLA Files Plea in High Court Seeking NIA Probe

Besides, the states have also been asked to be prepared for further curtailment of water supply, if the situation does not improve, officials said. Also Read - Rajasthan Crisis: 'Gehlot Government in Majority', Says State Congress in-Charge Avinash Pande

BBMB Member (Irrigation) S K Sharma, “A cut of 15 per cent on water supply has been imposed on Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan because of the low level of water, especially in the Bhakra dam.” Officials said a meeting of the technical committee, attended by representatives from the three states and BBMB officers, was held here to review the situation.

BBMB has allowed the outflow of about 19,500 cusecs from the Bhakra reservoir to the three states, against the demand for 22,500 cusecs.

Partnering states Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan get water from the Bhakra and Pong dams for various purposes, including for drinking and irrigation.

Notably, water requirement during June increases as it is the sowing season for the Kharif crop.

The water level in the Bhakra dam, built on the Sutlej river, was today recorded at 1,506 feet, which is 30-feet below the level that was recorded on the same day last year.

“We are really concerned with the water level in Bhakra,” Sharma said, adding, “if the situation does not improve, the water level in Bhakra may drop to 1,490 feet in June.” “Under no circumstances, we will allow the level to drop beyond 1,475 feet,” he said.

Significantly, the water level in Bhakra was 1,530 feet on May 9 this year.

“If the situation does not improve in June, then there is going to be big a problem. It has been informed to the partnering states,” Sharma said.

The water level in the Pong dam was today recorded at 1,289 feet, which is lower by about six-feet against what it was on same day in 2017.

The level of water in the Ranjit Sagar Dam has also touched the minimum level of 499 meters, officials said.

Notably, the water inflow in the Bhakra dam has been lesser this year because of decrease in snow melting caused by low temperatures prevailing over the upper Himalayas.

The India Meteorological Department’s Chandigarh director, Surender Paul, who also participated in the meeting, gave the assessment of temperatures and expected rainfall in the catchment areas, Sharma said.

It was informed in the meeting that temperatures were expected to remain low till May 25. Thereafter, the temperatures were expected to soar till June 10.

During the last meeting on May 9, partnering states were asked to use water judiciously.

The melting of snow and rain play crucial roles in filling of the reservoir. The filling period of the Bhakra reservoir starts on May 21 and goes on till September 20, and filling of Pong dam starts on June 21.

Bhakra and Pong dams are to be filled up to a level of 1,680 feet and 1,390 feet respectively by September this year.



05181809 ANB

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