Met department predicts an improvement in rains

Monsoon havoc:People wade through a waterlogged road in Patna on Thursday. — Photo: PTI

NEW DELHI: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Thursday forecast that there could be some improvement in the monsoon situation over north India next week.

According to the latest bulletin, fairly widespread rain or thundershowers could occur over Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh, scattered rainfall over Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir and isolated rain or thundershowers over Delhi, Chandigarh, Haryana, Punjab, west Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat during the next three days.

The bulletin also forecast that maximum temperatures over the plains of northwest India and adjoining central India could fall by two to four per cent during the next two days. The IMD further announced that the northern limit of the monsoon, which had been remaining stationary since June 18, moved slightly northwards in north Madhya Pradesh covering Bhopal and its neighbourhood.

At the end of the first month of the four-month South-West Monsoon season on Wednesday, the country was faced with a rainfall deficiency of 16 per cent of the long period average for the month.

The situation was the worst in the central and the north-west parts of the country, with deficiencies of 26 per cent and 18 per cent.

Uttar Pradesh had the maximum shortfall, with the western part of the State recording a deficiency of 82 per cent and the eastern part 72 per cent.

From THE HINDU

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Heavy rains lash Nagpur, throw life out of gear

NAGPUR: The heavy showers that lashed the city on Tuesday disrupted traffic on several thoroughfares and arterial roads leading to chaos. Many of those returning home after work were caught in traffic jams as the roads were waterlogged.

The main roads at Sadar, Cotton Market, Narendra Nagar and Shankar Nagar square were the worst hit, with vehicles stuck in a gridlock. Road users were angry as NMC had failed to clean storm water drains across the city. The traffic police had a tough time regulating traffic in the affected areas. In a few areas, traffic constables were seen opening manhole covers to enable free flow of rainwater into the drains.

A few trees were also uprooted in areas such as Khare Town in Dharampeth and Mate Chowk. Rain water gushed into houses in many low-lying area, said fire officials. Many areas including Dharampeth were also plunged into darkness after electric cables were snapped due to the falling trees.

From TOI

June, a month of unstable weather

Development of convective clouds generated in the evening, after intense heat in the day, causes rain

CHENNAI: The sun has been playing hide and seek with the clouds for the past few weeks. This month, so far, the city has received 55.8 mm of rainfall, which is more than the average of 43.3 mm in June. The rain brought down the maximum temperature from the average 36 degree Celsius to 34 degree Celsius on many days.

Under way: Stormwater drain construction in progress at Kannapar Thidal. Chennai Corporation has taken up construction of stormwater drains in several areas. — Photo: V. Ganesan

According to S.R. Ramanan, Director of Area Cyclone Warning Centre, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai has been experiencing unstable weather due to a combination of factors. The development of convective clouds generated in the evening, after intense heat in the day, causes rain, he said. The city has also been experiencing rain due to local thunderstorm activity. This weather is expected to be like this till the end of this month.

However, even a light shower has proved to be enough to result in water stagnation on several roads, including Vepery High Road, Tiruvottiyur High Road, Broadway, Ganesapuram, Valluvarkottam High Road, Sterling Road and in Choolai.

With the black topping on many roads having been removed using cold milling method for relaying, two-wheeler riders say they find it more difficult to negotiate these stretches during rain.

During the monsoon, subways including those in Ganesapuram, Vysarpadi Jeeva, near RBI, Thillai Ganga Nagar and those in T.Nagar get flooded. A flyover proposed at Ganesapuram to tide over the problem is yet to materialise.

L. Sudha, who lives off Bazullah Road in T. Nagar, said “Invariably, there is knee-deep water during the rains and we have always faced the problem of rainwater mixing with sewage.”

R. Prasad, a resident of George Town, said sewage mixing with drinking water was a major issue in many parts of north Chennai. “Even during the summer, we have sewage overflowing on the roads and at times reverse flow into buildings. Clogged drains and pumping stations that do not function properly are reasons for this. Repeated complaints have not borne fruit,” he said, adding that the situation would be worse during north-east monsoon.

The Chennai Corporation and the Chennai Metrowater are gearing up to meet challenges of inundation, blocked stormwater drains (SWD) and sewer lines and drinking water contamination.

According to senior Corporation officials, of the total 931 km of SWD, 463 km have already been desilted. Tenders have been prepared to desilt and repair 333 km of SWD and canals. Various important links in the network, including at Kellys, a SWD that cuts across Poonamallee High Road near Ripon Building and one on Tiruvottiyur High Road would be desilted. New link drains are being constructed in Nungambakkam, Ganesapuram, T. Nagar and Purasawalkam, the officials said.

The Metrowater has intensified joint patrolling with the Corporation to ensure supply of safe drinking water. It has also doubled the number of water samples collected daily for bacteriological analysis to 120. Apart from this, each day about 400 samples are taken for testing physical parameters, including total dissolved solids and 2,000 samples checked for chlorine levels, said officials.

Sewage pumping stations are also being overhauled to prevent failure of the system during monsoon owing to additional load.

Though mosquitoes are not yet a problem in the city, residents of suburban areas where spraying and fogging are hardly done find it difficult to cope with. “We cannot sleep without mosquito repellents. Whenever there are power cuts or low voltage, mosquitoes seem to come in battalions,” said Visalakshi Rajaraman of Poonamallee.

Municipalities, on their part, are trying to take up work to equip localities for the monsoon. According to a senior official of Ambattur Municipality, fogging and spraying of larvicides for mosquito control are being carried out regularly.

“We are also desilting canals to prevent logging. Localities such as Korattur, Padi and Mogappair face water stagnation as they are low-level areas,” the official said, adding that the focus would be on prevention of stagnation and conservation of rainwater.

Officials of the Madhavaram Municipality said work on an underground drainage project was on.

From THE HINDU

Dindigul records lowest rainfall in 50 years

Farmers told to use available water judiciously and raise dry crops like grains, oil seeds, pulses and millets

With sporadic rain, water table goes down sharply, Several irrigation wells has meagre quantum of water

DINDIGUL: Despite the early onset of south west monsoon, the district recorded the lowest rain in the last fifty years. With sporadic or no rain in several parts of the district, water table had gone down sharply and several irrigation wells had meagre quantum of water.

These were highlighted at the agriculturists’ grievance day meeting presided over by Collector M. Vallalar here on Thursday.

Farmers were advised to use the available water judiciously and raise dry crops like grains, oil seeds, pulses and millets.

The public works engineers informed farmers that 2,230 rain fed tanks had very less quantum of water.

Seventy per cent of 97,534 irrigation wells had water that could be pumped for one to two hours for irrigation and rest of the wells had water that could pumped for two to three hours only.

However, condition of horticulture crops in many pockets was good. Actual rain fall recorded up to June this year was just 122.08 mm when compared to the scheduled average rainfall that was 232.1 mm.

However, rain in the month of June was promising for farmers. June had recorded 60.1 mm rain against scheduled normal rain fall of 32.3 mm.

Rainfall in January was 0.9 mm compared to a 50-year average of 33.9 mm. It was nil in February and March. In April, rainfall was just 12.81 mm compared to the 50-year average of 61 mm. May month had recorded slightly more than the five decade average. It got 85.18 mm rain (five decade average 78.4 mm).

Briefing about renovation of tanks in town panchayats, the Collector said that MGNREG scheme could not be implemented for desilting of tanks and rehabilitation supply channels in town panchayats and municipalities.

District administration had sent separate proposals to the government for special funds to take up rehabilitation of tanks and supply channels within town panchayat and municipalities.

In the meanwhile, discussion was on with the town panchayat officials and elected representatives in utilising a portion of panchayat’s general fund for this purpose, he stated. “We had already started linking of canals and tanks in rural areas.”

When a farmer complained about massive encroachment of tank in Natham, he ordered the Natham block development officer to remove the encroachment on or before Monday.

Many farmers complained about encroachments of water bodies and accumulation of silt in irrigation tanks and channels.

From THE HINDU

Rain improves inflow into reservoirs

Coimbatore: The continuing rain in Coimbatore district and along the Western Ghats for the fourth day on Monday resulted in copious inflow into reservoirs besides steadily increasing the storage in many of the reservoirs, including the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project.

While the rain remained heavy in hill areas, there was mild showers in urban areas. According to the Water Resource Organisation (WRO) of the Public Works Department, the rainfall level reported across the district at 8.30 a.m. in mm were as follows:

Chinnakallar- 113, Valparai taluk- 95, Valparai PAP- 93, Chincona- 87, TNAU- 76, Coimbatore South- 73, Pollachi- 7, Periyanaickenpalayam- 5, Peelamedu- 3.4, Mettupalayam- 2.4 and Annur- 1.

The Public Works Department officials said that the inflow and storage in the reservoirs had been on a steady rise.

From THE HINDU

Ooty: Rain fails to deter tourists

Udhagamandalam: Though a couple of weeks have passed since the curtain came down on the season in this holiday destination, the flow of tourists continues to be good.

The demand for seats on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway was good.

Stating that despite the rain 6,000 tourists visited the Government Botanical Garden on Saturday, the Assistant Director of Horticulture said that the number of tourists entering the garden ranged between 6,000 and 8,000 during weekends.

From THE HINDU

Rain causes sharp fall in temperature

Wet spell:The rain provided a much needed respite from the heat. A scene in Triplicane on Sunday. — Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

CHENNAI: Chennai and its suburbs experienced a sharp fall in the temperature on Sunday due to intermittent rain since Saturday night.

The maximum temperature at both Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam was 32.6 degree Celsius on Sunday. Officials at the Regional Meteorological Centre said on Saturday the maximum temperature in Nungambakkam was 38.1 degree Celsius. It was 39 degree Celsius in Meenambakkam.

In the 24 hour period ending 8.30 p.m. on Sunday, Nungambakkam recorded 4.2 mm of rainfall while it was 7 mm in Meenambakkam. The rain caused power cuts in several areas in the city since Saturday night.

In its forecast for Monday, the Department said the skies will be generally cloudy and there is a possibility of a few spells of showers or thunder showers.

From THE HINDU