Chandigarh, May 29 (PTI) The Bhakra dam is unlikely to be filled up to its maximum permissible level of 1,680 feet during this filling period due to 20 to 25 per cent lesser water inflows, a senior official of the Bhakra and Beas Management Board (BBMB) said today. Also Read - Rajasthan: CLP Meet Ends, Congress Vows to Bring Confidence Motion in Assembly Tomorrow

The water level in Bhakra dam today touched 1,491 feet, around 50 feet lower than what it was on the same day last year. Also Read - Rajasthan Political Crisis: Suspended Congress MLA Files Plea in High Court Seeking NIA Probe

“We today told the partnering states that water in Bhakra has reached critical level. There appears to be no improvement of water inflow during June and average water inflow may remain between 16,000 and 17,000 cusecs,” BBMB, Member (Irrigation) S K Sharma said. Also Read - Rajasthan Crisis: 'Gehlot Government in Majority', Says State Congress in-Charge Avinash Pande

“With such inflows, the water level in Bhakra is expected to remain at 1,480 feet by June 30. Once we reach this level, the water level in Bhakra is not going to go beyond 1,600 to 1,620 feet by September even if we have increased inflows later,” he official said.

“Then it (lesser water level in Bhakra) will bring problem for the partnering states next year,” Sharma said, adding water inflow into Bhakra Dam has been 20-25 per cent lesser this season.

The BBMB had already told the partnering states — Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan — to use water judiciously.

The dam is to be filled up to a maximum permissible capacity of 1,680 feet by September 20. The water level in the dam was at 1,530 feet on May 9 this year.

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

BBMB has told the partnering states that it could only release water which the Bhakra and Pong dams have been receiving from catchments areas.

“We are getting 15,500 cusec of inflow into Bhakra and 2,000 cusecs into Pong reservoirs,” Sharma said.

A meeting of the technical committee attended by representatives of the three partnering states and BBMB officials was held here to review the situation for water supply.

Lesser supply of water to partnering states may pose problem for them as water requirement increases during the month of June for paddy sowing, irrigation for cotton and for drinking purposes.

The water level in Pong dam was also nine feet lower than against what it was on same day in 2017.

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

The next meeting to review the water release situation has been fixed for June 11.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.