September 12th, 2014 – dawn
LAHORE: The Mangla reservoir has attained its maximum water storage level of 1,242 feet above mean sea level for the first time since completion of the Mangla Dam Raising Project.
Under the project completed in late 2009, the dam was raised by 30 feet, taking the maximum water level permissible to 1,242 feet above sea level. With the addition of 2.88 million acre feet (MAF), the storage capacity of the reservoir was thus increased to 7.4MAF.
It has now become the largest water reservoir in the country, surpassing Tarbela, which has a live storage capacity of 6.45MAF.
Also read:Mangla dam almost filled to capacity
According to sources, the raised Mangla dam has not only stored additional water but is also playing a pivotal role in mitigating the current floods by cutting peak water inflows.
The additional 2.88MAF of water will irrigate another 1.31 million acres of land and generate 644 million more units of electricity per year from the existing Mangla Hydel Power Station.
Monetary benefits from the project are estimated to be about Rs111 billion in terms of enhanced productivity in agriculture sector, additional generation of electricity and flood mitigation, say the sources.
The Mangla Hydel Power System generated 214 million units of electricity from Sept 1 to Sept 9 this year compared to 90 million units during the corresponding period last year, thus registering an increase of 124 million units in just nine days.
The Mangla dam was originally completed in 1967 and had a storage capacity of 5.88MAF, which was reduced to 4.67MAF due to sedimentation by 2004.
Subsequently, the Mangla Dam Raising Project was initiated in 2004 with a view to maximising the hydropower potential of Jhelum river. This project was completed in December 2009.