Due to heavy rainfall over the last two days, the Pong dam on the Beas river in Himachal Pradesh has recorded the highest-ever inflow since it became operational in 1974.
According to Arun Sidana, chief engineer of Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB), the water inflow into the dam reached 7,30,079 (7.30 lakh) cusecs at 2 pm Monday. The previous highest inflow of 7,15,400 (7.15 lakh) cusecs was recorded in 1978.
Even during one of the worst floods in the state that resulted in several hundred fatalities in 1988, the highest water inflow was 5.23 lakh cusecs, as reported by dam authorities.
The Bhakra Beas Management Board officials said the water level at Pong touched 1,395.31 feet on Monday afternoon, higher than the upper limit of 1,390 feet. Sidana further said that since the dam is now at full capacity, they are releasing 1.40 lakh cusecs downstream.
On Tuesday evening, the dam’s water level reached 1399.43 feet. The inflow has decreased to 1,03,000 cusecs, while the outflow remains at 1.40 lakh cusecs.
The Pong dam is situated in Talwara, on the border of Punjab and Haryana. The primary catchment area for the dam is in Himachal Pradesh.
Due to substantial outflow from dams and the absence of adequate desilting, rivers cannot carry even half of their actual capacity. Consequently, excess water inundates areas along the rivers, leading to flooding.