Alert over Bhutan dam water release

The Central Water Commission has issued an alert to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority over the release of water from Kurichu dam in Bhutan on Friday after continuous rainfall, which will affect people in Barpeta and Bongaigaon districts.

By MANASH PRATIM DUTTA in Guwahati
  • Published 17.06.18
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Flood-hit people at a relief camp in Silchar. (UB Photos)

Guwahati: The Central Water Commission has issued an alert to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority over the release of water from Kurichu dam in Bhutan on Friday after continuous rainfall, which will affect people in Barpeta and Bongaigaon districts.

An ASDMA official said the water released from Kurichu dam flows into the Beki river and if more water is released, then the water level of the Aai flowing through Bongaigaon district will also go up.

"This could cause flooding in villages in Barnagar and Kalgachia revenue circles affecting nearly 50,000 people. Kalgachia is a low-lying area so it takes time for the flood situation to improve," Nandita Dutta, project officer of Barpeta district disaster management authority, said.

She said 40 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 10 State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel have been deployed in the district to deal with any emergency situation. "We have also alerted all departments in case of any emergency," she added.

Bongaigaon DDMA project officer Ananta Samanta said, "The overflowing Aai usually affects areas under Bijni circle in Manikpur subdivision. Nearly 38 villages are highly vulnerable. We have already prepared a relief camp site. Altogether 35 NDRF and six SDRF personnel, along with fire and emergency service staff, have been deployed."

ASDMA project coordinator Meenakshi Das Nath said, "After getting the alert, we have asked the authorities concerned to release the excess water gradually so we can control the scale of flooding. The affected population will increase if a large amount of water is released altogether. The flood situation in lower Assam is normal despite the report of flash floods."

According to the CWC website, the water level in the Beki is showing a rising trend. The current water level is at 44.44 metres while its danger level is 45.1 metres.

In case of the Pagladiya river in Nalbari district, the water level has risen to 51.85 metres while its danger level is 52.75 metres. The water level in the Puthimari river in Kamrup district is at 51.2 metres while its danger level is at 51.81 metres. But the CWC forecasts that the water level will go down to 50.95 metres.

According to reports, the release of water from the Kurichu dam in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2016 affected thousands of people in lower Assam.