Chief minister Hemant Soren sets an effigy of Ravana on fire at Morabadi grounds in Ranchi on Monday. On Tuesday, he held a review meeting to assess the damages caused by Phailin in different parts of the state. He directed senior officials to ensure that relief reached families affected by the cyclone at the earliest. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Oct. 15: Jharkhand and neighbouring state of Bengal are at loggerheads over release of water from at least two dams and one barrage in the state.
Bengal fears that water from Jharkhand dams may cause a flood-like situation in its West Midnapore and Purulia districts, and according to some media reports, Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee might soon approach her counterpart Hemant Soren to discuss the “matter of grave concern”.
In Ranchi, officials of the water resources department conceded that water was being released from Chandil dam in Seraikela-Kharsawan and Galudih barrage of East Singhbhum — both fall in the command area of the Subernarekha Multipurpose Project.
Water from both the places ultimately gushes into West Midnapore district.
Moreover, Tenughat dam (in Bokaro) has opened four sluice gates to release the pressure with water swelling beyond the danger level.
The extra water from Tenughat dam goes to Purulia district.
“We were compelled to release water from Chandil, Galudih and Tenughat. Since October 12 afternoon, the state has received heavy rainfall due to the cyclonic effect (read Phailin). The water levels were crossing the danger marks and we had no other option,” engineer-in-chief of the state water resources department Arun Kumar Singh told The Telegraph.
Secretary (water resources) Awinash Kumar said water was being released under unavoidable circumstances for the past three days.
“Odisha has also released water from Kharkai basin, which has resulted in swelling of Subernarekha basin. Consequently, water has been released from Chandil and Galudih,” he maintained.
Kumar maintained the situation might improve by tomorrow and only then the state might stop release of water from the dams.
He added that he had been constantly in touch with Bengal officials, who expressed their concerns.
Sources said Chandil and Galudih barrage had been releasing water at the rate of around 1,274 cubic metre per second and 3,224 cubic metre per second, respectively.
While 10 out of total 13 gates at Chandil dam have been lifted up to one metre, three gates have been lifted up to 0.30cm.
The water level at Chandil stands at 181.5 metre as against the permissible 180 metre.
Tenughat dam, which is under Damodar basin, is holding water around two feet above the danger mark of 852 feet.