One-inch deflection in Bhakra Dam, but no scare, say officials

Chandigarh, Sep 13 (Calcutta Tube) Playing down fears of a tilt in the Bhakra Dam, where the water level has crossed the maximum mark, the authorities Monday said there was just a 1.05-inch deflection in the structure and there was no need to worry.

‘The water level in the Bhakra Dam has crossed the maximum mark of 1,680 feet and we have been releasing the excess water to maintain this level,’ Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) member (irrigation) M.K. Gupta said.

‘We have also observed a deflection of just 1.05-inch in the Bhakra Dam, but the ’tilt’ is not the right word to use for it,’ Gupta told IANS. ‘This deflection is within the permissible limit and we need not worry about it. But yes, we cannot allow a deflection beyond 1.05-inch.’

The Bhakra Dam is located in Himachal Pradesh, along the Punjab-Himachal Pradesh border, 130 km from Chandigarh.

‘The inflow during the past few days has decreased considerably and the overall situation is under control. The water level in the Bhakra reservoir Sunday evening was near the 1680.17-foot mark,’ said Gupta.

Earlier, the Bhakra Dam had deflected in 1988, leading to the opening of all floodgates of the dam. Due to this, large areas of Punjab were flooded at that time. Later, Khalistan terrorists killed the then BBMB chairman, Major General B.N. Kumar, in Sector 36 here, holding him responsible for heavy flooding in the state.

Talking about the 1988 flood incident, Gupta said, ‘In 1988, we had a deflection in the Bhakra, almost of the same measurement. But at that time the water level was at 1,687 ft and heavy inflow of flood water from catchment areas had forced the BBMB to open the floodgates,’ said Gupta.

‘Now we will not allow further deflection as the Bhakra Dam can break if the deflection goes beyond 2 inches. But our engineers are monitoring the situation with the help of latest technology. So, there is no need to press the panic button,’ he pointed out.

Besides, in the neighbouring state of Haryana, rescue work is on in the flood affected villages of Panipat and Yamunanagar districts. Over 125 villages were flooded in these districts after the waters of the Yamuna river entered Sep 8.

‘No further flooding has been reported during the last 24 hours and rescue and safety work is on in all affected areas. The Yamnua river is also flowing at the normal level as we have observed a decline in the rainfall in this region,’ said an official spokesperson of the Haryana government Monday.

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