Sunday July 22, 2018
Home India Rain wreaks h...

Rain wreaks havoc in some states; deficit rainfall in others

Nearly 100 deaths have been reported from various states due to rainfall and floods across the country

0
//
150
Over 1,200 households are suffering from floods. Image Source: www.plan.org.hk
Republish
Reprint

 

The Monsoon rains have created a havoc, taking nearly 100 lives in some states, while in other states deficit rainfall has been recorded.

Heavy rains over large parts of Maharashtra since Sunday have caused nearly two dozen rain-related deaths, reports said. The deaths were reported from different parts of northern Maharashtra as Nashik and surroundings were lashed by torrential rains.

In one of the worst tragedies in recent times, two buses of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation with 22 passengers, were washed away in the flooded Saraswati River near Mahad in coastal Raigad district early on Wednesday.

A massive search operation by the state government, four National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard helicopters, police and fire brigade divers and volunteers of adventure groups are helping the search operations.

Almost 15 hours after the tragedy, rescuers found two bodies a short distance away from the disaster site, which is 18 kms from the Arabian Sea on the Konkan coast.

Incessant rains continue to lash coastal Konkan, northern and western Maharashtra for the past five days, with at least 12 persons losing their lives in the past 24 hours in these regions.

Downpours in Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Mumbai, Thane and Palghar in Maharashtra have affected normal life, transportation and communication.

However, the rains have not yet reached the parched Marathwada region though the situation has improved in Latur town, which has been getting water through Jaldoot trains since April.

While many areas in Maharashtra are experiencing floods, some parts of Marathwada and western Maharashtra continue to be supplied water through tankers.

Monsoon rains have led to flooding in parts of states like Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh in recent days. The ill state Uttarakhand has experienced landslides at some places due to heavy rain.

Follow Newsgram on Twitter

In Uttar Pradesh, the monsoon has been active in most parts over the last one month. Seventy-five districts have got average to moderately high rainfall, while only 13 districts have experienced deficit rainfall.

Rivers in the state, including Ghaghra, Sharda and Ganga, are in spate and many villages in Bahraich and Barabanki are under water as neighbouring Nepal released several cosecs of water, leading to flooding of many regions on the border.

Officials said that more than 30 people have died in rain-related incidents in July.

Agra has experienced good rainfall this year. Against the annual average rainfall of 650 mm, Agra has already had around 700 mm and the good spell continued with more showers on Wednesday. Two long spells of heavy downpour on Monday virtually paralysed life in the city, with the Balkeshwar Mahadev fair in a total shambles.

“The July rains set a new record this year,” recalled old-timer Munna Lal, a cycle repair shop owner of Moti Lal Nehru Road.

The Yamuna River, which passes through Agra, saw water level rising after heavy discharge upstream.

The Parikrama Marg in Govardhan and Vrindavan are under knee-deep water in several stretches.

Jagan Nath Poddar, convener of the Friends of Vrindavan, said pilgrims are facing problems as repair work is still to begin, despite many complaints. “The Yamuna is full of water which is a very pleasant sight after many years,” he said.

Except Sikkim, most parts of northeast India have so far experienced deficient monsoon rains, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) data said on Wednesday.

The other seven northeastern states — Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura — recorded around 14 per cent deficient rains during June 1 to August 2, the IMD report said.

IMD Director Dilip Saha told IANS in Agartala: “Due to inadequate depression and low pressure circulation in the Northeast, the region has so far recorded deficient rainfall. However, the deficiency would be covered in the remaining part of the monsoon.”

However, some parts of the Northeast witnessed excess rainfall.

Due to heavy rains and poor maintenance, National Highway-8 and National Highway-208(A) had turned into muddy quagmires with knee-deep slush over 10 to 20 km area in southern Assam’s Karimganj district adjoining north Tripura, thus virtually snapping Tripura’s surface communication.

The Southwest monsoon that advanced to Kerala on June 8, has been deficient by 25 per cent so far.

In Himachal Pradesh, after days of heavy rainfall, the monsoon is likely to remain subdued till August 5, the Met office said on Wednesday.

Follow Newsgram on Facebook

Despite 26 per cent deficit rain this monsoon, the rains have claimed 20 lives so far. The damage to public and private property was estimated at over Rs 160 crore, an official said.

He said the towns of Shimla, Mashobra, Narkanda, Kufri, Kasauli, Shimla, Palampur and Manali recorded rainfall.

A government spokesperson said that water level in the Sutlej, Beas and Yamuna rivers and their tributaries, which are in spate in Kinnaur, Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Bilaspur and Sirmaur districts, have start receding with the decline in rainfall.

Even the water level in Pong Dam — one of the state’s major water reservoirs — was still 40 feet lower on Tuesday compared to the last year. The dam is on River Beas.

“The water levels in the Pong dam reservoir stood at 1,326 feet on Tuesday,” an official of the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) told IANS.

The water level in the reservoir stood at 1,366 feet on this day last year.

In Haryana, the state government has sounded an alert in Yamunanagar and downstream districts of Yamuna River owing to heavy water inflow from neighbouring Uttarakhand. (IANS)

 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Most Terrible Water Crisis Ever In History Leaves Millions Of Indians Thirsty

6 percent of GDP is very much dependent on water.

0
A woman washes clothes as her daughter bathes in the Yamuna River on a hot day in New Delhi, India, April 24, 2017.
A woman washes clothes as her daughter bathes in the Yamuna River on a hot day in New Delhi, India, April 24, 2017. VOA

Weak infrastructure and a national shortage have made water costly all over India, but Sushila Devi paid a higher price than most. It took the deaths of her husband and son to force authorities to supply it to the slum she calls home.

“They died because of the water problem, nothing else,” said Devi, 40, as she recalled how a brawl over a water tanker carrying clean drinking water in March killed her two relatives and finally prompted the government to drill a tubewell.

“Now things are better. But earlier … the water used to be rusty, we could not even wash our hands or feet with that kind of water,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Delhi.

India is “suffering from the worst water crisis in its history”, threatening hundreds of millions of lives and jeopardising economic growth, a government think-tank report said in June.

From the northern Himalayas to the sandy, palm-fringed beaches in the south, 600 million people – nearly half India’s population – face acute water shortage, with close to 200,000 dying each year from polluted water.

Residents like Devi queue daily with pipes, jerry cans and buckets in hand for water from tankers – a common lifeline for those without a safe, reliable municipal supply – often involving elbowing, pushing and punching.

On the rare occasions water does flow from taps, it is often dirty, leading to disease, infection, disability and even death, experts say.

“The water was like poison,” said Devi, who still relies on the tanker for drinking water, outside her one-room shanty in the chronically water-stressed Wazirpur area of the capital Delhi.

“It is better now, but still it is not completely drinkable. It is alright for bathing and washing the dishes.”

Water pollution is a major challenge, the report said, with nearly 70 percent of India’s water contaminated, impacting three in four Indians and contributing to 20 percent of the country’s disease burden.

Yet only one-third of its wastewater is currently treated, meaning raw sewage flows into rivers, lakes and ponds – and eventually gets into the groundwater.

“Our surface water is contaminated, our groundwater is contaminated. See, everywhere water is being contaminated because we are not managing our solid waste properly,” said the report’s author Avinash Mishra.
Loss of livelihood

Meanwhile, unchecked extraction by farmers and wealthy residents has caused groundwater levels to plunge to record lows, says the report.

It predicts that 21 major cities, including New Delhi and India’s IT hub of Bengaluru, will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people.

The head of WaterAid India VK Madhavan said the country’s groundwater was now heavily contaminated.

“We are grappling with issues, with areas that have arsenic contamination, fluoride contamination, with salinity, with nitrates,” he said, listing chemicals that have been linked to cancer.

Arsenic and fluoride occur naturally in the groundwater, but become more concentrated as the water becomes scarcer, while nitrates come from fertilisers, pesticides and other industrial waste that has seeped into the supply.

The level of chemicals in the water was so high, he said, that bacterial contamination – the source of water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera and typhoid – “is in the second order of problems”.

“Poor quality of water – that is loss of livelihood. You fall ill because you don’t have access to safe drinking water, because your water is contaminated.”

Currently, only 70 percent of India’s states treat less than half of their wastewater.
Currently, only 70 percent of India’s states treat less than half of their wastewater. pixabay

“The burden of not having access to safe drinking water, that burden is greatest on the poor and the price is paid by them.”

Frothy lakes and rivers

Crippling water problems could shave 6 percent off India’s gross domestic product, according to the report by the government think-tank, Niti Aayog.

“This 6 percent of GDP is very much dependent on water. Our industry, our food security, everything will be at stake,” said Mishra.

“It is a finite resource. It is not infinite. One day it can (become) extinct,” he said, warning that by 2030 India’s water supply will be half of the demand.

To tackle this crisis, which is predicted to get worse, the government has urged states – responsible for supplying clean water to residents – to prioritise treating waste water to bridge the supply and demand gap and to save lives.

Currently, only 70 percent of India’s states treat less than half of their wastewater.

Every year, Bengaluru and New Delhi make global headlines as their heavily polluted water bodies emit clouds of white toxic froth due to a mix of industrial effluents and domestic garbage dumped into them.

In Bengaluru – once known as the “city of lakes” and now doomed to go dry – the Bellandur Lake bursts into flames often, sending plumes of black smoke into sky.

The Yamuna river that flows through New Delhi can be seen covered under a thick, detergent-like foam on some days.

On other days, faeces, chemicals and ashes from human cremations float on top, forcing passers-by to cover their mouths and noses against the stench.

That does not stop 10-year-old Gauri, who lives in a nearby slum, from jumping in every day.

With no access to water, it is the only way to cool herself down during India’s scorching summers, when temperatures soar to 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).

“There usually is not enough water for us to take a shower, so we come here,” said Gauri, who only gave her first name, as she and her brother splashed around in the filthy river.

Also read: India’s bulging water crisis: Is it too late for us to do something?

“It makes us itchy and sick, but only for some time. We are happy to have this, everyone can use it.” (VOA)