Dharamsala: The floodgates of Pong Dam were opened at 9 am today after a gap of about 13 years. Water was released through these gates last time in 1997.

About 33,000 cusecs of water was released from the Pong Dam. It included 15,000 cusecs through spillway or floodgates and 18,000 cusecs through turbines.

Lokpal Sethi | Jaipur

After failing to persuade the Rajasthan Government to rehabilitate all the Pong Dam oustees, the Himachal Pradesh Government is building pressure on the Centre to direct Rajasthan to resolve this decades-old problem at the earliest.

Chandigarh: After being down for months, the water levels of the Bhakra and Pong dams in Himachal Pradesh are looking up and the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) is increasingly becoming confident of meeting the irrigation needs of farmers in Punjab and Haryana this paddy season.

Farmers in Punjab and Haryana will have little water for irrigation and Rajasthan none at all this summer with water levels at both the Bhakra and Pong dams receding by the day. Hydropower generation has already reduced drastically and may be affected even more severely in the coming months.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday requested neighbouring Punjab to release forthwith the State

An enchanting spectacle of over 42,000 common pochards at a single site near Haripur at the upper end of the sprawling Pong Dam Wetland was the highlight of the three-day winter bird count from January 15 to 17 during which a record number of 1,44,000 migratory winged visitors were enumerated.

The Union Ministry for Water Resources has directed the Rajasthan Government to provide land to 2,457 Pong Dam oustees in catchment areas of the Indira Gandhi canal.

The decision to this effect was taken in the 14th meeting of a high-powered committee constituted on the directions of the Supreme Court, which conducted in Jaisalmer on Monday.

With filling season of Bhakra and Pong reservoir coming to an end today, both the reservoirs have more than 44 feet and 48 feet less water as compared to last year. Reservoirs with low water levels indicate a powerless winter ahead.

Heavy rain in Himachal has reduced depletion of water level in Bhakra and Pong dams, but may not be enough for optimum level. The three-day depleting water level trend at Bhakra was broken today with report of heavy rain in its catchment area yesterday.

Pong Dam : Officials of the Departments of Himachal Wildlife and Fisheries are in a conflict over eating of natural fresh water pearls in the Pong Dam reservoir by migratory birds. Fisheries Department officials say migratory birds have been eating natural gems worth crores from the reservoir every year, but Wildlife officials termed it a natural food cycle.