ISLAMABAD - The Indus River System Authority (Irsa) has increased the water releases from Tarbela dam to keep the reservoir level below 1480 feet required for the continuation of work on Tarbela 4th Extension Hydroproject.

“Wapda has asked the authority to keep the reservoir level below 1480 feet till June 26 so work on 1410MW Tarbela 4th extension project will not be affected,” said official sources to The Nation here Tuesday. Therefore it was decided in the Irsa meeting that the outflow from Tarbella reservoir will be increased to keep the dam level below the 1480 feet, the official said.

It is pertinent to mention that Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project would cost $920 million and additional 1410MW cheaper hydel electricity would be generated. World Bank was providing $840 million for the project while Water and Power Development Authority arranged the remaining $80 million. The project having three units of 470MW each would produce 3,840 GWh of cheap hydropower. Annual benefits of the project have been estimated at around Rs30.7 billion. The project will pay back its cost in just three years.

The official of Irsa further said that it was also decided that the river flow in Jhelum and Chenab was very low and to meet the water requirement Chasma Jhelum Link Canal should be opened immediately .Out of the extra releases from Tarbela, 15000 cusec water will go to Chasma Jhelum Link Canal while 2000 cusecs will be provided to Greater Thal Canal (GTC). Due to increase water releases from Tarbela the outflows from Mangla was decreased to enhance the water level in Mangla.

As per the authority on Tuesday the position of the river inflows and outflows at Tarbela, Mangla and Chashma along with the reservoirs levels and the barrages were as follows. The inflows in Indus at Tarbela were 180200 cusecs and outflows 165000 cusecs, Kabul at Nowshera inflows 66600 cusecs and outflows 66600 cusecs, Jhelum at Mangla inflows 60700 cusecs and outflows 20000 cusecs, Chenab at Maralan inflows 69600 cusecs and outflows 39600 cusecs. While in Barrages Jinnah inflows were 224600 cusecs and outflows 217100 cusecs, Chashma inflows 224100 cusecs and outflows 210000 cusecs, Taunsa inflows172700 cusecs and outflows 147100 cusecs, Panjnad inflows 17800 cusecs and outflows 2500 cusecs, Guddu inflows 125100 cusecs and outflows 103300 cusecs, sukkur inflows 88700 cusecs and outflows 40300 cusecs and at Kotri inflows 29900 cusecs.

Tarbela minimum operating level is 1380 feet while the present level is 1461.20 maximum against the conservation level 1550 feet. While Mangla present level is 1170.50 feet against the minimum operating level of 1040 feet, and maximum conservation level of 1242 feet. Chashma minimum operating level 637 feet, present level 648.00 feet, maximum conservation level 649 feet, live storage today 0.240 MAF.