SRINAGAR: The day Jhelum switched from its traditional gauge reading to a more technological one, becoming the first river in India to get an automatic gauge reading device installed at its Ram Munshi Bagh site, it raged and broke all its previous records of height at this site.
The digital gauge installation was completed on September 5 at Ram Munshi Bagh here with its sensor installed on Zero Bridge to give readings on the level of this river.
Afroze Ahmad, Executive Engineer with the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Srinagar, told Kashmir Reader that the department was trying to move to the next level and deploy a number of automatic gauges at different sites to monitor the level of the river constantly.
Afroze said this technological leap started on a bad note as Jhelum swelled beyond all known propositions and even the sensor of the newly installed device was submerged, though it survived.
“We are hopeful that the new technology could prove pivotal in future in gauging the mood of this river,” he said
The department is going to install automated gauges at different sites and it will replace the present gauge network operated manually, he said.
Pradeep Sachar of the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) that works under the Government of India’s Ministry of Water Resources said that in India measurements are done manually, and Jhelum is the first river where an automatic gauge to record the water level has been installed. He said they will be deploying eight such devices over a course of time.
“There have been devices installed for experimental purposes on streams, but Jhelum is the major river to get this device,” Sachar said.
In the past, gauge readers are deployed at the gauge sites who write down the reading on a file on regular basis.
Afroze said his department has been compiling the data of the Jhelum from several decades, and the data available for the past 40 years is also being digitized. “It will effectively give us insight into floods occurring in Kashmir,” he said.
Once installed at some of the major gauge sites, the measurements will be transmitted to a data centre, relieving them of getting the info on individual basis. And once fully operational, the data will not only be precise, it will allow the department to receive flood warnings.