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Over-conservation policy of BBMB may lead to spillage from Bhakra
The policy of over conservation and wrong assessment of reservoir strategy is likely to lead to spillage from Bhakra Dam this year, said Padamjit Singh, Chairman All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF).

AIPEF, in a letter to Union Power Minister, has sought his intervention so that BBMB takes timely measures to maximise generation at Bhakra Power houses and slow down the reservoir filling. Moreover, the chances of spillage will increase as there is no certainty about revival of unit no. 2 and 5 this month.

The commissioning schedules of these units have been delayed about a dozen times. According to sources, unit 2 is likely to be revived by end of July and unit 5 three months later.

The present level of Bhakra Dam is 1582.7 feet, which is 44 .8 feet more than last year’s water level of 1537.9 feet. The total present generation from Bhakra power houses and canal power houses is 286 lac units. This comprises 75.6 Lac units from left bank power houses, 175.1 lac units from Right bank power houses and balance from canal power houses.

The monsoon forecast for 2013 is 98% which implies a possibility of mean inflows occurs. AIPEF has carried out a study on the basis of prevailing water level, and anticipated/ projected levels under three different situations varying from "dependable" inflows to "mean" inflows and average of two.

In case mean inflow water level crosses 1680 feet on August 28, it is likely to cross 1691 feet at the end of filling season on September 20. BBMB resorts to spillage when water level crosses 1680 feet. BBMB should go for filling reservoir level up to 1685 feet up to end of filling season.

With the outage of units 2 and 5 at Bhakra left bank, the quantum of water that can be released through power house is reduced to the extent of about 6000 cusecs.  AIPEF had earlier requested   BBMB to take timely measures to maximise generation at Bhakra and slow down the reservoir filling. BBMB has increased generation from June 10 to avoid possible spillage.

AIPEF has alleged that the working and decision making in BBMB is non transparent and highly centralised. The decisions in technical committee are made on the basis of distorted projections made by BBMB and without full disclosure of facts. No State constituent would be in favor of allowing a situation of spillage to develop. It is for BBMB to alert and coordinate the states to adopt a common strategy.

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