Durgapur barrage release water creating flood-like situation

Water being released from Durgapur Barrage

Durgapur News Desk, 27 July 2017: Incessant rainfall in the upper Chotanagpur plateau over the past few days left Durgapur Barrage authorities with no other option but to release 2 lakh cusecs of water till 3 pm yesterday. This prompted Damodar Head Works Divison, Durgapur to sound red alert.

Release of more water in coming days will be inevitable if rainfall continues, say DVC officials as the Damodar is still flowing over the danger mark.

Panchet Dam on Damodar River at Purulia-Jharkhand border released 75000 cusecs of water yesterday. The water level at Maithon Dam, situated at Asansol-Jharkhand border upon the Barakar River has been recorded to be 475 feet; its maximum capacity being 495 feet.

The water level in both Panchet Dam and Maithon Dam (Barakar River feeds Damodar River) and Durgapur Barrage in the downstream is still on the rise, thus making the flood-like situation grim in the districts of Burdwan East, Burdwan West, Bankura, Hooghly and Howrah.

The Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in Andal of Durgapur has been reported to be inundated due to heavy rainfall. Flight operations have, however, not been disrupted by the flood waters, Bengal Aerotropolis Limited (BAPL) sources said.

Meanwhile political blame game continues to rule over the release of water by various dams on Damodar River and other rivers that feeds Damodar. Claiming that the lower catchment areas of her state are inundated every year by the water released from dams, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday urged the central government to revamp the Damodar Valley Corporation by cleaning and dredging its barrages.

“We are repeatedly asking the central government to clean and dredge the old barrages of DVC since 2012. The capacities of these barrages have reduced due to sedimentation. Therefore, the dams that should be able to contain another two lakh cusecs of water are not able to do so. I think the central government should take initiatives to revamp the DVC,” Banerjee said.

On Tuesday, West Bengal state irrigation department has sent letter to DVC requesting to cooperate with the state and limit water release.

Claiming that the water pressure to have increased in the dam due to the massive rainfall in Jharkhand, a DVC official said it has no alternative but to release water.

“Water has been released from Galudi and Tenughat dams following heavy rainfall in Jharkhand. As a result of it, pressure on Panchet dam keep on increasing and once the maximum capacity of the dam exceeds, there was no alternative but to release water,” a DVC spokesperson said.

Refuting the Bengal government’s allegation that DVC is not adhering to its proposal of not releasing the water from the dams for the next few days, the official said the decisions are taken by Damodar Valley Reservoir Regulation Committee (DVRRC) that has central government as well as the state government representatives.

“The commission comprises representatives from central government, West Bengal and Jharkhand government and also from DVC. The commission takes the decision of releasing of water depending on the situation. The DVC has no role in releasing water,” he said.

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