In some relief from an intense heat wave that has gripped northern India, the monsoon is expected to arrive on time this year, hitting Kerala on 1st June.
According to Doordarshan News, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that there is no possibility of delay in the arrival of monsoon as of now. It also added that the normal date for monsoon onset on the southern coast is the first of the next month. However, the south west monsoon is expected to be below normal this year and the country will receive about 93 per cent rainfall.
As heat wave conditions continued to sweep many parts of northern India, Haryana’s Hisar turned out to be the hottest place at 42.5 degrees Celsius. The maximum temperature was five notches above normal while Amritsar in Punjab recorded a near similar high at 42.3 degrees Celsius, four notches more than normal.
At 41.5 degrees Celsius and 39.5 degrees Celsius respectively, Narnaul and Ambala in Punjab also experienced hot weather. Chandigarh’s maximum settled at 40.1 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal.
There was no relief from heat in other parts of the two states as Ludhiana boiled at 41 degrees Celsius and Patiala at 40.7 degrees Celsius. The MeT department has forecast light rain and thunder showers at a few places in Haryana and Punjab over the next two days, and thunder squalls accompanied with hail and a wind speed exceeding 45 kilometres per hour may occur at isolated places in the two states
Stung by widespread criticism over the numerous errors in the list of women who prayed at the Sabrimala temple, the Kerala government has decided to re-prepare the list.
A counsel of state government had presented the list in the Supreme Court on Friday, which reportedly had discrepancies in the age and names of women. The list was taken from the records of the online system, through which pilgrims register for having “darshan”.
The row erupted over flaws in the actual age of some of the 51 women, whom the counsel had referred to in the list as “banned” — on account of they being of menstruating age group of 10 to 50 years — who prayed at the temple this season.
State police chief Loknath Behera on Saturday asked senior officials to revise the list, which included even the name of men, besides several of the women above 50.
State Devasom (temples) Minister Kadakampally Surendran told the media that his department has no role in the preparation of the list, while the president of the Travancore Devasom Board – custodian of the temple, A. Padmakumar said they are not responsible for this as they do not prepare statistics of the pilgrims in the temple.
Kanam Rajendran, state secretary of the Communist Party of India – the second biggest ally of the ruling Pinarayi Vijayan government, said the entire responsibility of what has happened lies with the state government.
But the Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, the closest aide of Vijayan, defended him by saying that it is not just 51 women, but so many women have had “darshan” at the temple.
Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini, both in the “banned” age group of 10 to 50 years, prayed at the Sabarimala temple.
It was after they approached the apex court seeking security for having safe “darshan” that a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari directed the state government to arrange adequate protection for them.