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Aug 25, 2012 at 10:13am IST

Monsoon revives but India's rain deficit to stay

New Delhi: As North India received widespread and heavy rains over the last two days, normal life was brought to a standstill at many places with Rajasthan being the worst hit.

The Army had to be called in for rescue and relief work as many districts in Rajasthan received unusually high amount of rainfall leading to the death of 33 people. Delhi and negihbouring areas also received heavy rainfall in the last 48 hours leading to water-logging in many areas.

ALSO SEE Assam: 4 districts in grip of floods

While Delhi recorded 10.9 mm of rain till Friday evening, Uttar Pradesh, too, received moderate to heavy rainfall at a few places over the past 24 hours. The maximum temperature in Delhi was recorded at 30.7 degrees celsius, three less than normal and the minimum was 25.5 degrees celsius, one less than the usual.

In the wake of torrential rainfall, many districts in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana are facing a flood-like situation. However, the dry spell continued in Punjab and farmers suffered a loss of Rs 5,200 crore due to rain deficit.

Although, the Met Department said that August rains won't change India's rain-deficit status, but the country could get good rainfall activity over the next month. Director-Long Range Forecast, India Met Department (IMD) DS Pai said, "In the last two weeks, the maximum improvement was in the Northwest and Central India. In South Peninsula also there was close to 100 per cent rainfall. But Northeast India was deficient by around 25 per cent only in August. But overall, except for Northeast India, we could get good rainfall activity over other parts."

Heavy rains in Rajasthan disrupt normal life

Rajasthan, which had a rainfall deficit of 29.69 per cent on August 9 and was fearing a drought, has now received 4.89 per cent above normal rainfall after over two days of downpour, Met Department officials said.

Thousands have been shifted to relief camps as many towns and colonies are submerged in water. The Met Department has also predicted more rainfall in the next few hours.

An elderly couple was killed after a wall collapsed on them in Churu, two others died in Sawaimadhopur and one each in Bharatpur and Ajmer, taking the death toll to 33, officials said.

The civil administration in Sikar, Churu, Jhunjhunu, Dholpur, Bharatpur, Karoli and Dausa was struggling to provide relief with many low-lying areas in these districts as well as in Jaipur facing waterlogging. Various colonies and towns have been submerged and thousands of people have been shifted to relief camps and other safer places.

Low-lying areas in Jaipur, Laxmangarh and Nawalgarh town in Sikar district and Sikar city, few villages near Chambal river in Dholpur district faced the brunt of the rainfall.

The Rajasthan government has asked the central team, which was scheduled to arrive here to assess the drought situation, to postpone their visit for some time because of the heavy rains, they said.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has raised the compensation amount for the kin of those killed from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh.

While 10 persons have died in Jaipur, four were killed in Sikar. In Bhilwar and Churu, the toll was three each while it was two each in Bharatpurm, Dausa, Sawaimadhopur, Alwar and Dholpur. One person each in Tonk, Jhunjunu and Ajmer was also killed in rain related incidents. While 23 of the victims had drowned, two were electrocuted, one was killed by lightning and seven in various wall collapse incidents.

Heavy rains bring traffic jams to Delhi's rush hour

New Delhi: Heavy rains on Friday lashed the national capital, bringing down the temperature but Delhiites had to face troubles while commuting due to waterlogged roads and traffic jams. The city received 10.9 mm rains between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm which brought the mercury below normal levels, MET officials said.

The maximum was recorded at 30.7 degree Celsius, three points below the normal, while the minimum was 25.5 deg C, one notch below normal.

The humidity level hovered between 84 and 100 per cent during the day.

However, the rains caused traffic snarls and water logging at various places, causing problems for the commuters.

There were complaints of traffic jams between Moolchand and Defence Colony, Shanker Road and Ganga Ram Hospital, Sarai Rohilla and Anand Parvat and Bikaji Cama Place and Safdarjung Enclave due to water logging.

The city has been witnessing heavy to moderate showers for the past four days.

Heavy rains lash some parts of HP triggering landslides

Heavy rains lashed some parts of Himachal Pradesh, triggering landslides at some places and leading to slight drop in maximum temperatures. Several link rooads in the interiors of Kangra, Mandi, Sirmaur and Solan districts were blocked due to landslides. A large tree was uprooted in Cart road near Bemloe in Shimla causing disruption in traffic for several hours.

Several tribal areas including Pooh and Kaza remained cut off from rest of the state as the vital bridge on Hindustan-Tibet national highway near Ribba, which was washed away three days ago, could not be restored.

The rains abated a bit in high altitude tribal areas and power generation in major projects like Nathpa-Jhakri (1500 MW) and Karchham-Wangtoo (1000 MW) was resumed as silt level came down to 3500 ppm against permissible limit of 4000 ppm.

Dharamsala in Kangra was wettest in the region with 184 mm of rains while Dharampur recorded 118 mm of rains, followed by Kandaghat 72 mm, Amb 61 mm, Nagrota Suriyan 55 mm, Nahan 40 mm state capital receiving 23 mm of rains.

The maximum temperature dropped from 32.2 degree Celsius to 31.4 degree Celsius at Una while Bhuntar recorded a high of 31.8 degree Celsius, and Sundernagar 27.4 degree Celsius.

Solan had a high of 27 degree Celsius, while Dharamsala recorded 26.4 degree Celsius and Naha recorded maximum of 25.9 degree Celsius.

Shimla recorded maximum temperature of 20.1 degree Celsius, while Kalpa had a high of 23 degree Celsius.

However, the minimum temperatures remained steady with Kalpa and Keylong in tribal areas coldest in the region with a low of 13 degree Celsius.

The local MeT office has predicted rains and thunderstorms in most parts of the state and heavy to very heavy rains in some isolated places in mid and lower hills.

Punjab farmers bear Rs 5200-crore loss due to rain deficit

Meanwhile, farmers in Punjab have suffered a loss of Rs 5,200 crore due to deficit rain during the current monsoon, government officials said on Friday. The Centre should have discharged its constitutional duty by announcing special economic package for the state but the proposal put forward by Punjab has not been considered as yet, Sohan Singh Thandal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Irrigation said.

He said the irrigation has been adversely affected due to deficit rain upto around 70 per cent, which caused a loss of Rs 5,200 crore to the farming community of Punjab.

Although some regions of the state had witnessed rain in past few days, but the water level in the main dams is still very low.

The water flow in the rivers is 10 per cent low and the generation of the power through the hydro projects had taken a sharp plunge, he added.

Thandal said due to this natural calamity, the peasantry of the state has been forced to spend more money on diesel to irrigate their fields.

The state incurred Rs 7,000 crore in the month of June and July to purchase power by spending Rs 1656 crore more than the normal rates, he said.

He said the water level in the Bhakra Dam is 55.77 feet, Pong Dam at 29.54 feet, while the water level at Ranjit Sagar Dam is 13.95 meter low than the previous year during the present time.

With Additional Inputs from Agencies