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Gujarat rains: Sardar Sarovar Dam reaches record level, sluice gates opened for first time

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on August 09, 2019 Published on August 09, 2019

A view of the Sardar Sarovar Dam. - PTI

With heavy inflow of water, 1200 mw hydro units at the dam started after two years

Following heavy rainfall in the upper catchment area of Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river, the water level at the reservoir reached all-time high of 131.5 metres on Friday prompting the authorities to open 22 out of the 30 gates on the dam.

Presently, 96,000 cusecs of water is being released from the dam, which has caused a risk of flooding in the nearby villages and low-lying areas in Narmada and Bharuch districts.

First time

Remarkably, it is for the first time since installation of the sluice gates on the Sardar Sarovar Dam in 2014, that the reservoir attained the record level of 131.5 metres. The permissible water storage level at the dam is 131.1 metres, as a result the authorities started releasing the water by opening the gates.

Following the heavy inflows, the hydro power units on the dam were started after a gap of two years. Rajiv Kumar Gupta, MD, Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNNL) commented, "With heavy inflows in Sardar Sarovar Dam, we started River Bed Power House(1200 MW) after a gap of two years! A satisfying moment indeed for Sardar Sarovar Team!!"

After approval from Narmada Control Authority (NCA) the 17-metres-tall sluice gates were installed on the dam in 2014, taking the total dam height from 121.92 metres to 138.6 metres. (This is also the reservoir level in the closed-gates condition). The storage capacity at the dam has increased to 4.73 million cubic metres (MCM) from the earlier 1.27 MCM.

Swelling of rivers

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel visited the dam site earlier on Friday to take stock of the situation as the water level neared its danger mark at the dam. Since Thursday, parts of Central and South Gujarat have received heavy rains causing swelling of rivers and increase in water level at the reservoirs. In Vadodara, the water level at Ajwa reservoir has reached danger mark at 212 feet and all the gates on the dam were opened to release the water in Vishwamitri river, which has seen its water level swelling to danger mark.

Rainfall

As per the State Emergency Operation Center, the State has received total 541.79 mm rainfall for the season, which is about 66 per cent of the average rainfall. Maximum rainfall is reported in Bharuch district with 13 per cent excess of the season's average, while Kutch region and the districts of North Gujarat have rainfall deficit in the range of 50-71 per cent as on August 9, 2019. Saurashtra region has reported total average rainfall of 329 mm, which is about 51 per cent deficient from its normal 663 mm rainfall.

Meanwhile, IMD has predicted "Heavy to very heavy rains likely at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls" in some parts of the State.

Published on August 09, 2019
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