Five days of incessant rain have proved to be a boon for water reservoirs in Dhanbad, but made life difficult for residents of underground fire-hit areas where toxic smoke and gas are billowing out of the cracks on the surface.
Dhanbad has received 236.80mm of rain till Saturday.
The shower show has led to a significant increase in the water levels of Maithon and Topchanchi lakes besides the Damodar, which are the three main sources of water for more than 20 lakh residents of Jharia, Katras and Dhanbad town.
The water level at Maithon, which had dropped to 452.79 feet during April compared with an average of 475 feet, has increased to 489.15 feet.
Maithon lake is the main source of drinking water for over 10 lakh residents of Dhanbad town.
In Topchanchi lake, the water level has increased nine feet to touch 44 feet from 35 feet before the rains started.
The water level in Damodar river, which is the primary source of water for more than 10 lakh residents of Jharia and half of Katras, has also touched a high of 465 feet against the average of 450 feet.
“We have registered a total inflow of around 1.54 lakh acre feet of water at Maithon dam yesterday (Saturday). We have released 30,000 acre feet by opening seven out of total 12 gates of the dam,” public relations officer of Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) Vijay Kumar said.
He said Panchet dam had registered an inflow of 1.15 lakh acre feet and six out of the 12 gates of the dam were opened to release 26,000 acre feet of water.
Indresh Shukla, executive engineer-cum-technical member of Mineral Area Development Authority (Mada), said, “The water level in the Damodar has increased to 465 feet, which is more than the required level of 450 feet. The situation is such that the motors of the intake well of Jamadoba-based water treatment plant have been submerged. However, the situation in Topchanchi lake is much below the satisfactory level of around 50 feet. The water level has increased to only 44 feet, but we are expecting further improvement in the situation.”
Notably, Topchanchi lake is the main water source for Katras localities and the low water level sometimes restricts supply to once or twice a week during peak summer months.
Meanwhile, continuous rain have led to an increased emission of toxic smoke and gas following seepage of water through the cracks in underground fire-hit localities.
Subsidence led to the partial damage of two mud houses in Ghanudih area of Jharia on Saturday.
However, nobody was injured in the incident.