Farakka lock-gate collapse sends excess water into Bangladesh

The collapse of a lock-gate at India’s Farakka Barrage, located just 17 kilometres from the border, has led to a diversion of excess water into Bangladesh.

A Bangladeshi member of the Joint Rivers Commission, Mir Sajjad Hossain, told the Dhaka Tribune: “The excess water diverted to Bangladesh is not necessarily a bad thing. At any rate, our Indian counterparts assure us that the damaged lock-gate is being
repaired.”

India’s PTI news agency yesterday quoted  Murshidabad District Magistrate Y Ratnakar Rao as saying: “Gate number 49 has been washed away. It was already damaged and officials were about to replace it when it collapsed last evening.”

He said the new gate had already arrived and would be installed soon.

Indian authorities have diverted excess water to a feeder canal and towards Bangladesh.

“I have been informed by the project manager that there is no change in the water level [on the Indian side]. They are diverting half of the excess water to the feeder canal and the rest to the Bangladesh side,” The Statesman, an English daily from West Bengal, reported Rao as saying.

Estimates were not available of the amount of excess water coming into Bangladesh.

In a similar case in 2011, two broken gates resulted in unregulated water flows of about 47,000 cusecs – of which, about 15,000 cusecs was additional discharge – into Bangladesh, The Hindu reported.

Jangipur Sub-Divisional Officer Priyanka Singhla said efforts were on to start repair work immediately.

The barrage has 109 gates of which 108 are over the Ganges River and the 109th is over low-lying land in Malda.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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