Punjab flood : Can canalisation of rivers be a solution to the flooding Punjab is experiencing?

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Punjab flood : In addition to local showers, when states like Himachal Pradesh experience precipitation, water drains down the rivers. Better control of the overflow from the main dams calls for more storage facilities so that water can be released progressively downstream.

In the past month, Punjab has had two significant flooding events. Intense rainfall in Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh caused a tremendous influx of water into Punjab’s rivers, causing the initial deluge.

The second instance of flooding in Himachal Pradesh was brought on by the state’s severe rains. Major dams were flooded as a result, causing water to spill downstream and putting Punjab at serious risk during the rainy season.

Punjab’s rivulets and rivers

Three perennial rivers, the Sutlej, Beas, and Ravi, as well as two rivulets, the eastern (Chitti) and western (Holy) Beins, pass through Punjab.

In addition, 16 significant seasonal streams in areas like Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Mohali, and Nawanshahr, along with the two non-perennial monsoon rivers Ghaggar and Chaki, contribute to the state’s water infrastructure. During the monsoon season, minor seasonal rivulets known as chos and khads also contribute to the water flow.

According to experts, these water sources, especially the non-perennial and perennial rivers coming from Himachal and Jammu & Kashmir, provide a significant amount of monsoon water to Punjab. Punjab is at risk of downstream floods when the dams here are filled to capacity and water is discharged, even in the absence of significant local rainfall.

According to experts, canalisation can be one way to effectively regulate rivers and water supplies in this area.

Punjab Flood : How does river canalisation work?

Canalization entails controlling or changing the direction of a water source’s flow, such as a river. This can involve channelling river water into particular channels, using micro dams to control flow, connecting canal systems to rivers, and fortifying earthen embankments when necessary.

What is Punjab’s current canalisation situation?

The Bhakra Nangal Dam on the Sutlej, the Pong Dam on the Beas, and the Ranjit Sagar or Thien Dam on the Ravi are three notable dams on perennial rivers. On all of these large rivers, there are Dhussi Bandhs, or earthen embankments.

However, Dhussi Bandhs are prone to breaches during even little increases in river flows because to their intrinsic vulnerabilities. In areas like Hoshiarpur, there are numerous tiny earthen dams with minimal storage capacity. However, the lack of appropriate canalisation in many small rivulets, rainwater drains, and Nullhas increases the risk of flooding.

Better control of the overflow from the main dams calls for the construction of additional storage facilities so that water can be released progressively downstream.

How canalisation can help to reduce Punjab Flood

Both of Punjab’s most recent floods were caused by major rivers and minor canals overflowing. Heavy local rainfall on July 9 and 10 led to the initial floods, which occurred when uncontrolled rivers, Nadis, rivulets, Nullahs, etc. overflowed into the Sutlej and Ghaggar rivers.

When the second flood hit on August 15, there wasn’t much local rain. As a result of the constant rain in Himachal, the Bhakra Nangal and Pong dams were forced to release their full capacity, sending heavy water into Punjab. In this situation, implementing canalisation would assist in controlling both local rain and dam discharges.

Long-term canalisation methods, together with the yearly strengthening of Dhussi Bandhs, extending them up to 30 to 40 feet, could be a feasible answer, according to a senior officer in the drainage division of the Punjab Water Resources Department.

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In a nutshell, the officer explained that canalisation activities must be undertaken in order to prevent further calamity due to Punjab’s sensitivity to floods.

In a nutshell, the officer explained that canalisation operations must be made because Punjab is particularly susceptible to floods.

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