Chandigarh: Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) on Thursday said it would cut down water release by 10-20 percent to partnering states including Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan if rainfall fails or remains low within a week time.
   
"Today, we have kept the (water release to partnering states) same...now they (states) have agreed that if there is no rain within a week time, then 10-20 percent deduction (in water release) may be there depending upon the rain.
   
If there is absolutely low rain fall, the deduction will be more...in case rainfall is there deduction may be less or may not be there," BBMB Chairman A B Agrawal told reporters at Chandigarh on Thursday after holding a review meeting with representatives of partnering states.
   
At present, BBMB is releasing 29,500 cusecs from Bhakra dam and 15,900 cusecs from Pong dam to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan which require water for irrigation of Kharif crops.
   
The inflow of water into Bhakra dam as on today stands at 33,000 cusecs against 34,700 on the same day last year, he said adding that the water inflow into Pong dam was lower 30-50 percent in last few days.
   
However, he said the requirement of water by partnering states was being fully met. BBMB chairman said the decision of reducing the water supply was taken in order to take care of water needs for irrigation requirement in future.
   
"This year we will give full water but question is we have to plan for the future...our aim to give water for 365 days...(but) our position is not very much comfortable (this year)," he said.
   
He further said a review meeting further be held in next five-seven days if there is no rainfall.
   
Describing the delayed monsoon as 'unfortunate', Agrawal said the both reservoirs might not be filled during the ongoing water filling period.
   
"Filling period (for Bhakra and Pong) is September 20 and our reservoirs should be filled (by that time)...but as per (current conditions), we are not expecting that...that is why (we) held a review meeting today," he said.
   
"(The) unfortunate part is that the level of Bhakra and Pong is continuously falling," he observed.
   
At present, water level in Bhakra and Pong dams was as on Thursday was over 60 feet lower than what it was in last year.
   
The water level in Bhakra dam was today recorded at 1,539 feet as against it 1,600.60 feet on the same day in last year. In case of Pong dam, the water level was 1289.30 feet as against 1,351.38 feet last year.
   
Bhakra observed the lowest water level in 2004 at 1499.25 feet and in Pong dam it was 1274.67 feet in 2009.
   
Asked about the getting predictions about rainfall, he said the department was getting 3-4 predictions every day from the Indian Meterological Department (IMD) department..They (IMD) say it is 50-50 percent.. they say 50 percent normal and 47-50 percent below normal but we cannot say 50 percent will be good...we have to be very careful for the future and we have to safeguard the interest of people."

(Agencies)

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