Monday October 22, 2018
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Respite for Himachal natives: Rainfall in Devbhoomi

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By Srishti Jaswal

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Himachal Pradesh is perhaps one of the roughest terrains in India. Rainfall is the predominant feature of Himachali weather. Rain not only replenishes streams but also refreshes the greenery of hills. Without rain, the cycle of seasons will remain incomplete. During the rainy season which comes as a respite for the natives, the beauty of Devbhoomi Himachal is at its peak.

The grey monsoon clouds against the white sky, floating above the green fresh hills is a mesmerizing sight. Throughout the year, people here wait for the monsoon season as it brings a new life along with it. The vegetation in the hill terrain is totally dependent on these rains.

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Devbhoomi also witnesses plenty of fairs and festivals to welcome the monsoons. They celebrate this season with dancing, singing and feasting. Also, Lord Shiva is worshiped in entire Himachal during the holy month of Shravan.

However, the rainfall isn’t the same every year. Both abundance and scarcity of rain cause problems in the daily lifestyle of Himachali people. A balanced amount of rainfall is necessary for maintaining the beauty of these hills without any risks. High amount of rain can at times result in floods, landslides, etc. disrupting the flow of life.

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In case of heavy rainfall, there is a lot of damage to infrastructure and roads as well. Majority of landslides are triggered by incessant rainfall in Himachal Pradesh. Landslides further affect traffic movement on national highways and other roads. It not only blocks the roads temporarily but also leads to countless puddles. Every year after monsoons, the condition of roads in Himachal Pradesh deteriorates and leads to pathetic transportation facilities. Because of this reason, The Public Works Department is one of the most occupied government offices before, during and after the rainy season. But sadly, Government is usually unable to mend the roads and buildings back to their previous state.

Heavy rainfall affects vegetation and wildlife of Himalayas up to a large extent. Many trees are uprooted and many animals lose their habitat because of landslides. Rain in Himachal Pradesh also leads to soil erosion which reduces the quality of topsoil.

In words of Ramdayal Sharma, a local Himachali farmer, “If with the God’s grace, rainfall is appropriate then the harvest is plenty, there is enough fodder for cattle, tourism is enhanced too and there are no landslides.”

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Himachal is widely known for its streams and rivers. During heavy rainfalls these water bodies are usually flooded. The instances of cloudburst are very frequent in Himachal which also leads to flashfloods. Such flashfloods damage the water supply, drainage and irrigation system of an area.

Due to flooding and poor transportation, tourism is adversely affected in Himachal. The livelihood of many households in Himachal is dependent upon tourism. It holds a major share in economy of state. At times many tourists are struck in valleys of Himachal, which is very dangerous. The rate of road accidents also increases.

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Because of poor transport not only tourism is affected but life of Himachal natives also comes to a stand-still. Tickets and bookings for various buses are also temporarily suspended. People mostly prefer to stay indoors, which disturbs their daily routine.

A school girl, Vaani Sharma describes her inconvenience due to rains as “even Domino’s pizza delivery is delayed because of rain, that is why I hate rainy season.”

The stagnant water acts as a breeding place for many insects, primarily mosquitoes. As a result, many diseases spread during this season which can also turn into epidemics, if not controlled in time.

But if rains are scarce even then problems do occur. Many rivers in Himachal are entirely dependent on rainfall. Fewer rains can disturb irrigation which further is detrimental for agriculture in hills.

Monsoons are therefore very powerful. They can convert quasi semi deserts into vivid green grasslands. They are a blessing for Indian mainland since last 5 million years.

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Dusshera In Delhi Casts A Dark Blanket, Air Quality Worsens

System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) labelled NCR's air quality as toxic

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Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons

The National Capital and the regions around it continue to suffer a “very-poor” air quality on Friday, which according to experts, may worsen due to combined effects of Dussehra and meteorological reasons such as low winds in Delhi.

Between 6pm to 8pm, over 48 areas across the National Capital Region — 36 from Delhi alone — suffered ‘very poor air-quality’ with pollutants registering over four times the national safety standards.

Weather analysts say this may worsen as Delhi currently has very light variable winds with no definite directions, which is likely to help in aggregating the pollutants.

Air Quality
In New Delhi, levels of the most dangerous particles in the air are sometimes 10 times higher than the safe limit, the survey noted. wikimedia commons

“Delhi has a negligible wind speed and morning temperatures are low. Also, many effigies were burnt across the region on Dussehera. This will push up the pollution levels,” said Mahesh Palawat, director private weather forecasting group, Skymet.

The air-quality was already ‘severe’ at Anand Vihar in east Delhi and Rohini in north Delhi, Bawana in northwest Delhi, Mundaka in West Delhi and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan, acoording to the real-time monitoring taken up around 8pm by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The average presence of major pollutant PM2.5 or particle with diametre less than 2.5mm, was 129 unit across Delhi-NCR and 133 units in Delhi, which is more than twice the national safe limits. Rohini was the most polluted with PM2.5 concentration at 166 units, about three times the safe limits.

Air Quality
Air pollution can also damage your kidneys. wikimedia commons

The permissible range or PM2.5 is 60 as per national standards and 25 by the international standards.

At 4pm, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was 276 marked ‘poor’ against ‘moderate’ mere 48 hours back.

Also Read: The Farmer;s Protest In Delhi Makes The Indian Police Take Severe Steps

Meanwhile, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) labelled NCR’s air quality as toxic and recommended keeping relief medicine handy. SAFAR advised everyone to avoid tiring outdoor physical activity. (IANS)