CWC - Central Water Commission

India’s Rivers Crossing Highest Flood Level in Oct 2022

(Feature Image: River Rapti flowing in severe flood situation at Balrampur level forecast site in Balrampur district, Uttar Pradesh on Oct. 07, 2022. Image Source: CWC)

The retreating South West monsoon 2022 witnessed unusual rainfall spells in the first ten days of October eventually resulting in breach of Highest Flood Levels (HFL) at least at 26 stations in the country. In 2021, in entire October, there were just nine instances across India when HFL was breached, compared to 26 already this year. Rainfall across India as on Oct 26 morning as per IMD, is 109.2 mm, already 60% above normal rainfall of 68.3 mm.

26 HFL crossing sites in Oct 2022 comprised of 09 Level Forecast (LF) and 17 Level Monitoring (LM) crossing HFLs. 21 are in Ganga basin, 1 in Narmada basin, 3 in Cauvery basin and 1 is part of East Flowing Rivers (EFR) between Pennar to Kanyakumari basin. Of total sites breaching the HFLs in Ganga basin 13 are in Uttar Pradesh, 3 each in Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh and 2 in Bihar.

Hydrographs of Yamuna rivers crossing HFL in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh states in Oct. 2022.

Except Narmada at Balai at Narayanganj LM station in Mandla, none of these HFL breaches have taken place along main stem of River. They are all on the tributaries. Yamuna basin has registered HFL breach at 7 sites.

Interestingly, the Amlav river at Kalsi site feeding Yamuna in Himalayan segment and Kunwari river at Bagchini site, Sengar river at Bulakipura site and Noon river at Orai 2 Mangrayan site joining Yamuna in lower segment have crossed their old HFL either in Aug or Sept 2022.

Hydrograph of Ganga rivers in Uttarakhand & Uttar Pradesh breaching HFL in Oct. 2022.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) has wrongly mentioned new HFL date for Gata site on Vesli river 13.10.2022 instead of 12.10.2022. The CWC has also maintained 136.51 m dated 12.10.2022 as new HFL for river Sengar at Bulakipura site which is incorrect as the river had attained 137.02 m HFL on 25.09.2022.

Hydrographs of Gandak, Ghagra rivers in Bihar and Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh in extreme flood situation in Oct. 2022.

The timing for HFL breach and peak attained for Gandak river at Bagaha site is unavailable as there was not update issued by CWC on its social media platforms. The old HFL date for Chikkarasinakere site on Hebbahalla river is unavailable as the same has not been maintained by the CWC.

Table 1: Details of Rivers Breaching HFLs in October 2022

SNSiteRiver/ BasinDistrict/ StateWL/ DL, MOld HFL, MDateNew HFL, MTime/ DateRise above old HFLAbove HFL for hours
1BetalghatKosi/ RamgangaAlmora/ Uttarakhand746/ 747746.9419.10.2021747.2300:00 hr 11.10.20220.29 m~76 hrs
2SuyalbariKosi/ RamgangaNainital/ Uttarakhand996/ 997996.9520.10.2021997.2816:00 hr 10.10.20220.33 m~27 hrs
(3)KalsiAmlav/ YamunaDehradun/ Uttarakhand 512.411.07.2021513.2513:00 hr 01.10.20220.85 m~172 hrs
       512.8910:00 hr 23.08.20220.49 m~201 hrs
       512.8507:00 hr 23.08.2022  
       512.804:00 hr 20.08.2022  
(4)BateshwarYamunaAgra/ UP 131.5630.09.2021131.9204:00 hr 02.10.20220.36 m~38 hrs
5BagchiniKunwari/ YamunaMorena/ MP 161.7123.09.2022163.701:00 hr 10.10.20221.99 m~26 hrs
     161.1404.08.2021161.7122:00 hr 23.09.20220.57 m~09 hrs
6SarvaPana/ YamunaBhind/ MP 161.0912.07.2019161.1212:00 hr 12.10.20220.03 m~46 hrs
7GataVesli/ YamunaBhind/ MP 138.8427.09.2019139.5422:00 hr 12.10.20220.7 m~87 hrs
8BulakipuraSengar/ YamunaAuraiya/ UP 137.0225.09.2022136.5105:00 hr 12.10.2022  
     136.3319.09.2019137.0204:00 hr 25.09.20220.69 m~125 hrs
9Orai 2 MangrayanNoon/ YamunaJalaun/ UP 135.4822.09.2022136.6213:00 hr 11.10.20221.14 m~59 hrs
     134.0430.07.2021135.4813:00 hr 22.09.20221.44 m~135 hrs
     134.0430.07.2021134.54 m04:00 hr 16.09.20220.5 m~21 hrs
10New MotipurSuhaliBalrampur/ UP 135.9927.10.2021136.0206:00 hr 11.10.20220.03 m~10 hrs
11SitapurGomtiSitapur/ UP 128.2309.07.2019128.722:00 hr 15.10.20220.47 m~170+ hrs
12BhingaRapti/Shrawasti/ UP118.5/ 119.5120.315.08.2014120.8122:00 hr 08.10.2022051 m~86 hrs
13BalrampurRaptiBalrampur/ UP103.62/ 104.62105.5415.08.2017106.0707:00 hr 10.10.20220.53 m~127 hrs
14BansiRaptiSiddharth Nagar/ UP83.9/ 84.985.9503.09.202186.2704:00 hr 16.10.20220.32 m~113 hrs
15MuhchurwaBurhi RaptiSiddharth Nagar/ UP 91.7928.08.202192.3412:00 hr 12.10.20220.55 m~141 hrs
16Parsohan ghatBurhi RaptiSiddharth Nagar/ UP 96.5529.08.202197.8816:00 hr 11.10.20221.33 m~146 hrs
17Dumari GhatKwanoBalrampur/ UP 98.2930.08.202198.8713:00 hr 13.10.20220.58 m~186 hrs
18DhobahatGhagra/ GangaAmbedkar Nagar/ UP 86.9519.08.202087.5318:00 hrs 13.10.20220.58 m~102 hrs
19Gola BazarGhagra/ GangaDeoria/ UP 73.6801.08.202073.9404:00 hr 15.10.20220.26 m~60 hrs
20DarauliGhagra/ GangaSiwan/ Bihar59.82/ 60.8261.7429.08.199861.8108:00 hr 15.10.20220.07 m~63 hrs
21BagahaGandak/ GangaPaschim Champaran/ Bihar 90.0827.08.202190.3NA 07.10.20220.22 mNA
22Balai at NarayanganjNarmadaMandla/ MP 422.9830.09.2019423.0205:00 hr 13.10.20220.04 m~25 hrs
23Chikkarasina-kereHebbahalla/ CuaveryMandya/ Karnataka615 / 615.5616.1NA617.6514:00 hr 15.10.20221.55 m~30 hrs
24PudunagaraUduthore-halla/ CauveryMysore/ Karnataka587.5 (DL)587.806.12.2017588.1506:00 hr 17.10.20220.35 m~28 hrs
25Thandalai-puthurAyyar/ CauveryTiruchirapalli/ Tamil Nadu97.3 98.398.73526.11.202198.8308:00 hr 17.10.20220.095 m~02 hrs
26VenganurPeriyaodai/ EFR Pennar-KanyakumariCuddalore/ Tamil Nadu76.76/ 77.7678.2604.12.202078.5506:00 hr 10.10.20220.29 m~03 hrs

Note: The Kalsi site on Amlav river and Bateshwar site on Yamuna have also been covered in our previous analysis detailing HFL breach at 57 sites between July and first week of October 2022. Since both of the sites have been included here too, the number of sites crossing old HFL between July and September 2022 would be 55.

In addition to the HFL breach, we could track 7 sites (6 in Ganga and 1 in Cauvery basin) where rivers have narrowly missed breaching the old HFLs in October 2022. Nearly 6 such incidents have taken place in May-June 2022 and 10 during July-September months. Notably, river Cauvery at Urachikottai site has attained 165.95 m as new HFL on 04.08.2022, however the CWC has not updated this and continues to maintained 162.92 m dated 12.09.1981 as HFL for the site.

Hydrographs of rivers flowing close to old HFLs in Oct. 2022.

Table 2: Details of Rivers Flowing Close to HFL

SNSiteRiver/ BasinDistrict/ StateWL/ DL, MHFL, MDatePeak LevelTime/ DateMissed crossing HFL by
1Kachhla-bridgeGangaBaduan/ UP161/ 162162.7924.09.2010162.6705:00 hr 13.10.20220.12 m
2AyodhyaGhagra/ GangaAyodhya/ UP91.73/ 92.7394.0111.10.200993.9804:00 hr 13.10.20220.03 m,
3Elgin-bridgeGhagra/ GangaBarakanki/ UP105.07/ 106.07107.61618.08.2014107.35604:00 hr 12.10.20220.26 m
4TurtiparGhagra/ GangaBallia/ UP63.01/ 64.016628.08.199865.6805:00 hr 15.10.20220.32 m
5Gangpur SiswanGhagra/ GangaSiwan/ Bihar56.04/ 57.0458.0118.09.198357.9605:00 hr 16.10.20220.05 m
6Chandra-deepghatKwano/ GangaGonda/ UP87.84/ 88.8492.0416.07.198991.512:00 hr 16.10.20220.54
7Urachi-kottaiCauveryErode/ Tamil Nadu163/ 164165.9212.09.1981165.803:00 hr 17.10.20220.12 m

It is quite unusual that 26 sites have crossed HFLs in initial 20 days of October month. Remarkably, there 11 sites where rivers have been in extreme flood condition for more than 100 hours. Before this about 5 HFL breach incidents[i] has taken place in June month and about 55 HFL breach incidents[ii] has been registered during July-September 2022. The total tally of CWC flood monitoring sites crossing HFLs between May-October 2022 stands at 86 so far. Remarkably, the river Kopili at Kampur site in Assam had remained in extreme flood[iii] condition for about 149 hours in May 2022.

Table 3: Month wise HFL Breach Incidents in SW Monsoon 2022

Month   River  Basin   No.
 BrahmaputraBarak & othersGangaMahanadiNarmadaMahiGodavariKrishnaCauveryWFR Pennar &

The maximum HFL breach incidents at 41 have taken in Ganga basin (of which 21 occurred in just first 20 days of October and 15 in August) followed by 10 in Mahanadi basin (all in August month); 9 each in Narmada and Cauvery basin; 7 in Godavari basin; 3 each in Brahmaputra and Krishna basin; 2 in EFR between Pennar and Kanyakumari basin; 1 each in Barak & others and Mahi basin.

Hydrographs of rivers in Cauvery and EFR between Pennar & Kanyakumari basin crossing HFL in Oct. 2022.

Apart from the HFL breach incidents, there have been at least 23 sites where rivers have either touched or rose close to the HFLs in this period. Additionally, at least at 6 sites CWC abruptly changed the HFL[iv] only after the respective sites crossed the old HFL. The details of CWC’s sites attaining new HFLs in 2018[v], 2019[vi], 2020[vii], May-Sept. 2021[viii] and Oct.-Nov. 2021[ix] can be seen by clicking the links.

                                                                Bhim Singh Rawat (











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