India is expected to receive only 88 percent of the long-term average rainfall this year, Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday.
“The northwest area will receive 85 percent of the normal (average) rainfall,” he added.
“The latest forecast is bothering me as the rainfall this monsoon is likely to be 88 percent – plus or minus four percent – of the normal (average) rainfall, which is down from 93 per cent in April,” he remarked.
The India Meteorological Department had in April forecast 93 per cent of the average rainfall for the country.
The minister further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was monitoring the developments closely and had directed all the concerned ministries to make the necessary preparations and take action so that the common man was not affected.
Guwahati, October 22, 2017 : Normal life was badly affected in most parts of the northeastern region due to the incessant rains since Thursday due to a hyperactive depression in the Bay of Bengal, officials said.
Officials of India Meteorological Department (IMD) predict that due to the depression, the rains accompanied by a light squall would continue till Sunday.
Low lying areas, patches of roads, paddy fields and several houses were inundated by the rain water in Tripura.
Incessant rainfall also continued in different parts of Assam on Saturday, with brief intervals at some places since Friday evening dampening the festive spirit.
An official of the Tripura Disaster Control Centre said though the water level in most of rivers in Tripura is heavily increased, they are flowing below the danger level.
Tripura Revenue and Relief Minister Badal Choudhury and Urban Development Minister Manik Dey, accompanied by officials, visited some rain affected areas and assessed to take some future measures to check inundation of water.
The IMD office in Agartala recorded 157 mm rainfall since Friday morning.
“A light to moderate rain occurred at most places over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura with isolated heavy rainfall in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura along with isolated very heavy rainfall in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and light rain occurred at most places over Nagaland during the last 24 hours,” said a senior official of the Regional Meteorological Centre at Guwahati on Saturday.
“Heavy and very heavy rain fall at isolated places were predicted over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya on Sunday too,” he said. (IANS)
Bhuj, Sep 09, 2017: White, fluffy clouds hanging low over green hills, little pools of still water teeming with migratory birds and an omnipresent cool breeze — the semi-arid region of Kutch in Gujarat transforms into a completely different avatar during the monsoon.
And although winter — the time detailed as “ideal” to visit this region — shows you a side of hers that’s truly unique, Kutch makes for a pretty picture during the rains, perfect for a rejuvenating holiday.
Nestling on the country’s western border, close to the Arabian Sea, Kutch had recently been in the news for the cyclonic storm-induced thundershowers that lasted five days. Before that, and like the rest of the state, floods had also hit the region in July.
“Heavy showers are normal during the monsoon,” local taxi driver and long-time Bhuj resident Anwar Khatri said, indicating that the heavy rainfall was not out-of-the-ordinary. “But in the last three-four years, we have had very scanty rainfall. The monsoon brings out a different facet of Kutch, the brown transforms into green.”
Kutch occupies an important geographical location when it comes to birds, said ornithologist Jugal Kishor Tiwari, since it falls on their migration route. His organisation, Centre for Desert and Ocean (CEDO), works on wildlife conservation and promotes nature tourism.
And although the winter is a brilliant time to spot a host of migratory birds, one can indulge in some bird-watching during the monsoon as well. CEDO, which is based out of Moti Virani village, some 400 km from Gujarat capital Gandhinagar, organises tailor-made tours of such nature.
A visit to Kutch would however be incomplete without witnessing its rich treasure trove of handicrafts. Ajrakh (block printing), camel leather craft, Bandhni, different forms of weaving, bellmetal craft, Kutch embroidery — the list is endless — and nothing beats the wonder of watching an artisan work on his or her craft.
After the devastating earthquake in 2001, several NGOs took up the initiative of supporting artisans and their art, even reviving some, and helping them find suitable markets to showcase and sell their products beyond the state’s and the nation’s borders.
There are many such NGOs within a radius of 10-15 kilometres from Bhuj — the point you will either fly down to or reach by train — and one can visit their campuses to see some of these exquisite crafts take shape and understand the story behind them from the artisans themselves. Some names to look out for would be Shrujan, Khamir, and LLDC (Living and Learning Design Centre).
About eight kilometres from Bhuj is a village called Bhujodi, which has the Ashapura Crafts Park set up for artisans to display and sell their work. Again, one can meet weavers, tie-dye artists, block printers and others here. Needless to say, it will leave you wanting for more shopping bags to fill!
From the well-known to the lesser known — a monsoon visit to Kutch would also remain wanting without a trip to one of its pristine beaches. Mandvi is the closest to Bhuj and there are many resorts close by with their own private beach enclosures. The high point of the beaches here — Pingleshwar, about 98 km from Bhuj, a hidden gem — is witnessing the marine life. Jelly fish and hermit crabs are a common sight and the multi-coloured sea weeds look extraordinary.
If the children are more in the mood for some fun and frolic, Mandvi has ample opportunity for water sports as well — which may be restricted when the weather is grey. But a ride on a camel would more than compensate for that!
With the temperature hovering on the pleasant side of the scale and a constant breeze, one can also opt for some historical sight-seeing. The Aina Mahal, with its blue tiles, Venetian-style chandeliers and walls studded with mirrors, is a must-visit. Next door is the 19th century Prag Mahal, a brilliant example of Italian-Gothic architecture.
As you travel around the place and move on the fringes of the main town of Bhuj, it is difficult to miss the vast expanses of agricultural land with acres after acres of pomegranate plantations, palm groves and cotton fields — all this thanks to drip-irrigation, which has brought about a sea-change in the region’s crop pattern. With the green hills in the backdrop, it’s a sight to behold. Soak it in, for, with the changing season, Kutch will soon reveal a different face. (IANS)