India: Jaipur may run out of water in a month if monsoon is further delayed



Jaipur may run out of water in a month if monsoon is further delayed

The IMD data for the period July 1 to July 15 shows that the Bikaner and Jodhpur divisions in western Rajasthan have been worst hit.

JAIPUR Updated: Jul 24, 2019 14:42 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
water shortage in jaipur,bisalpur dam,rajasthan govt
While Jaipur is bracing for a water crisis , the roads built under the smart city project are being sprinkled with water in Chandpole area. (Prabhakar Sharma / HT Photo )

With the monsoon playing truant in Jaipur region and the Bisalpur dam having water for only 40 days, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) is putting in place a contingency plan to avert a crisis.

The IMD data for the period July 1 to July 15 shows that the Bikaner acnd Jodhpur divisions in western Rajasthan have been worst hit. Bikaner division recorded 60% less than normal rainfall while Jodhpur division had 64% less rainfall. Jaipur division had 5% less than normal rainfall. Ajmer, Bharatpur, Kota and Udaipur divisions have had excess rainfall.

The Bisalpur dam is the lifeline for around 90 lakh people in Jaipur, Ajmer, Tonk and Dausa districts, which get water from the dam that is situated in Tonk district. However, if the monsoon is further delayed, people can expect water rationing with supply being restricted to once in two to three days, PHED officials said.

The dam which supplies water to these four districts has not got filled due to poor monsoon. The dam has a height of 315.5 metres and the water level is currently at 304.97 metres. Drinking water from the dam can be supplied till 302 metres.

An additional chief engineer in the PHED said contingency plans were being made for all four districts. As part of the contingency plan, tube wells will be dug and tankers will be used to supply water. Around 680 tube wells will be dug in Jaipur alone, he said.

However, the engineer said the contingency plan will take around two to three months to execute as tenders will have to be issued and then work orders will be given.

PHED minister BD Kalla is monitoring the water situation in the state and is taking daily updates from officials, the department officials said.

Sandeep Verma, principal secretary, PHED, said they are monitoring the water situation and there is no imminent crisis. He said the situation would depend on the rainfall. “If there is good rainfall in the catchment areas of the Bisalpur dam then the situation would ease,” he said.

Water train to Pali soon

Meanwhile, after a gap of 10 years, a train carrying water to drought-hit Pali district will start from Jodhpur station soon.

Additional chief engineer (urban) ID Khan said a letter has been written to the railways seeking permission for the train and the train will start from Jodhpur’s Bhagat Ki Kothi railway station anytime after July 24.

Pali district is reeling under water scarcity. The Jawai dam, which supplies water to the district, has a capacity of 207.5 million cubic metres. It currently has only 17.5 million cubic metres of water or 8.4% of its total capacity.

Rs 13 crore have been sanctioned for the water train. A rake of around 30 wagons has been brought from Ratlam to Jodhpur and has been cleaned. The train will carry around 100 lakh litre water daily to Pali, a two-hour long journey from Jodhpur.

A tank near the Bhagat Ki Kothi station has been cleaned and water will be stored there and will be pumped into the wagons through a hydrant, said Neeraj Mathur, additional chief engineer, Jodhpur. The water will be stored in a similar tank at the Pali railway station and distributed from there through tankers.

First Published: Jul 24, 2019 14:14 IST

india: 67 Dead In Flood Affected North-East Bihar And Uttar Pradesh



67 dead as IMD sounds red alert in flood affected North-East, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh

Close to nine million people in the flood affected regions of North-East, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been affected with nearly 300,000 living in relief camps.

INDIA Updated: Jul 17, 2019 00:26 IST

HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Guwahati/Patna/Lucknow/Chandigarh
North-East,Bihar,Uttar Pradesh
Residents wade through a flooded street following heavy monsoon rains, in Guwahati, Tuesday, July 16, 2019. The water level of River Brahmaputra has risen above the danger level causing flood like situation in many areas.(Photo: PTI)

The death toll in floods in North-East, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh rose to 67 on Tuesday from 45 on Monday, even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted more rains in these regions.

Close to nine million people in the flood affected regions have been affected with nearly 300,000 living in relief camps.

Union water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat who met chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday, announced the release of Rs 251 crore as first installment to the state disaster response fund, the Assam’s disaster management authority said.

“The floods in Assam are a concern for the entire country. I would like to assure that the Centre will extend all help to the state to tackle the situation effectively,” Shekhawat said.

Till Tuesday, 22 people have died in floods, including two in landslides in Guwahati, and five deaths were reported from Barpeta, Dhubri, Morigaon and Nagaon. There are 5.25 million people affected in 30 of the state’s 33 districts. Around with 147,000 displaced persons are taking shelter in 695 relief camps, the state disaster management authority said.

The ongoing floods have taken a toll on the animals residing within the Kaziranga National Park, the biggest habitat of one horned rhinos in the world. Four rhinos and an elephant died in the past 24 hours due to floods, according to divisional forest officer RB Saikia, taking the total animal death toll in the park till Tuesday to 30.

In Bihar where 12 of the state’s 38 districts are facing a deluge, chief minister Nitish Kumar told the state assembly that Rs 6000 will be given as relief to six lakh families affected by the floods, through direct benefit transfer Friday onwards.

“Bihar is hit by disasters, like floods or drought every year, but we don’t get adequate funds. The state only received Rs 500 crore (from the Centre) in the 2017 floods,” he said.

With recovery of nine more bodies on Tuesday, the death toll has reached 33 in Bihar.

In eastern Uttar Pradesh, six deaths were reported due to floods in rivers originating in Nepal. Hundreds of villages in Balrampur, Shravastri and Lakhimpur districts remained under water as Rapti and Sharda rivers continued to flow over the danger mark, the state’s irrigation department said.

Punjab’s Bathinda received 178 mm rainfall in eight hours on Tuesday morning — the city receives 375 mm in a year.

The IMD also issued a red alert (over 240 mm in 24 hours) for Kerala’s six districts, including Idukki, Wayanad, Kannur, Ernakulam and Thrissur, from July 18 onwards. These were some of the most affected districts in the 2018 floods, which were the worst that the state had experienced in a century.

Meanwhile, in Nepal, at least 78 people have died and 40 injured, with around 17,500 displaced due to floods and landslides, authorities said Tuesday.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Jul 16, 2019 23:55 IST

India: 20 killed in Mumbai, Pune wall crashes as rains continue to wreak havoc



20 killed in Mumbai, Pune wall crashes as rains continue to wreak havoc

As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city.

MUMBAI Updated: Jul 02, 2019 07:35 IST

Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
mumbai rains,malad,wall collapse in malad
A wall of Sinhgad College, Ambegaon collapsed at around 1:15 am on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, killing at least 7 people. (ANI / Twitter )

At least 13 persons were killed in a wall crash in Malad, north-west Mumbai and another seven perished in a wall collapse in Pune, early on Tuesday as rains continued to wreak havoc in large parts of Maharashtra.

In the wake of the incessant rainfall, the state government has declared July 2 as a public holiday for Mumbai.

According to officials, the compound wall of a school in Pimpripada in Malad suburb, collapsed on some adjoining hutments in which more than 13 people were killed, around 1 am on Tuesday.

Early on Tuesday, the compound wall of the Sinhagad College in Pune crashed on some hutments beside, killing at least seven persons.

In both the incidents, many more victims are still feared under the rubble and teams of NDRF are at the site for rescue and relief operations.

As the IMD predicted extremely heavy to very heavy rains in parts of coastal Konkan, the Maharashtra government declared a public holiday for Mumbai city.

Early today, Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Pravin Pardeshi declared all schools and colleges shut for the day as a precautionary measure.

Air, road and rail traffic was also hit for the second consecutive day on Tuesday and rains have so far claimed around 50 lives in the past five days in the state so far.

First Published: Jul 02, 2019 07:23 IST

India staring at longest heatwave in 3 decades (48c or 118.4f)



India staring at longest heatwave in 3 decades, monsoon relief unlikely soon

The Capital, which sweltered on its hottest June day in history on Monday (48 degrees Celsius) recorded as maximum temperature of 45.4 degrees Celsius at Palam in spite of a spell of light rain in the morning.

INDIA Updated: Jun 12, 2019 11:10 IST

Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
heatwave,heatwave conditions,longest heatwave
Noida, India – June 10, 2019: Boys on a two-wheeler cover themselves with a cloth to beat the heat on a summer day, in Noida, India, on Monday, June 10, 2019. (Photo by / Hindustan Times)(Sunil Ghosh /HT Photo/Representative Image )

Nearly two-thirds of India sizzled on Tuesday under a spell of a heatwave that is on course to becoming the longest ever as scalding temperatures killed four train passengers, drained water supplies, and drove thousands of tourists to hill stations already bursting at the seams.

Across large swathes of northern, central and peninsular India, the mercury breached the 45 degree mark, including in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh, Churu and Bikaner in Rajasthan, Hisar and Bhiwani in Haryana, Patiala in Punjab, and Gwalior and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

The Capital, which sweltered on its hottest June day in history on Monday (48 degrees Celsius) recorded as maximum temperature of 45.4 degrees Celsius at Palam in spite of a spell of light rain in the morning.

Experts warned that monsoon relief was still some time away with the severe cyclonic storm, Vayu, barrelling towards the Gujarat coast and drawing rain clouds from over the sea.

With a heatwave spell stretching 32 days, 2019 has already seen the second-longest spell of scorching temperature ever recorded. If the mercury doesn’t dramatically drop in the next two days, 2019 will become the year with the longest heatwave spell in recorded history — with three weeks to go in June.

In 1988, there were 33 such days, and in 2016, there were 32 such days. A heatwave is defined as when the maximum temperature is at least 40 degree C (plains) and 30 degree C (hills), according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Also Read | In scorching sun, UP villages without a drop to drink

The searing heat is already leaving people withered. Four elderly passengers on board the Kerala Express died apparently of suffocation and heat at Jhansi, where the mercury has hovered around the 45 degree mark since the beginning of the month. The four people, three of whom died on Monday evening, were part of a 67-member group returning to Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu after visiting Agra and were travelling in non-AC sleeper coaches.

“A team of doctors examined them on board the train at Jhansi; three of them had passed away by then and one passenger was rushed to hospital [who died on Tuesday],” said railway spokesperson Manoj Kumar Singh. He said the cause of death appeared to be heat but the exact cause would be known after a post-mortem examination.

The blazing heatwave is in line with predictions made by a number of scientific studies based on IMD data that show that the intensity of heatwaves is rising. DS Pai, a scientist at IMD, Pune, said their study of long-term heatwave data of 35 meteorological subdivisions showed a threefold increase in heatwaves every year since 1991. “Our observation indicates that the increase was steeper in the last two decades,” he said.

An Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune study added that another impact of long spells of heat was an increase in the number of hot days and nights. An analysis of daily maximum and minimum temperatures of 121 IMD stations distributed across India between 1970 and 2015 showed the frequency of hot days and nights showed a big jump whereas that of cold days and nights dropped sharply. “With climate change, the frequency and intensity of heat waves in India will increase,” S Krishnan, a senior scientist at IITM, said.

In its heatwave bulletins, IMD has pointed out that this year’s hot spell has been amplified by the absence of pre-monsoon showers, the presence of hot and dry winds from western dry zones. However, the heatwave spell is likely to cool down this weekend, the IMD heat forecast on Tuesday said.

In major cities across northern India, the demand for power and water surged even as many sources of water – such as rivers and reservoirs – ran dry. The peak power demand in Delhi broke all records of this season on Monday and touched a high of 6,686 MW, reported the discoms. In the hinterlands, where there are often no secondary sources of water such as tanks and pipes, the situation is worse.

In Sonbhadra district on the eastern tip of Uttar Pradesh, for example, the scorching sun has forced many villagers to dig pits in the riverbed and wait for groundwater to ooze out. As the temperatures rise, the pits will go dry and villagers will have to trek kilometres for a pot of water. Hand pumps often don’t work in these regions because in many pockets, the water level has dipped below 300 feet.

The sweltering heat has driven tens of thousands of people into hill stations that are ill-equipped to handle a rush of such magnitude. Uttarakhand’s Nainital has seen an average of 15,000 to 20,000 tourists arrive daily in a city with a capacity of just 8,000 rooms. Mussoorie, which has 2,000 rooms, has seen 190,030 tourists flood the town since May.

As many as 15,000 vehicles have entered Manali and Shimla on weekends this month, translating to roughly 60,000 people — about a third of the population of these towns. The tourist influx is repeatedly choking all approach roads to the small Himalayan hill stations and causing massive traffic snarls in the mountains. Moreover, the hills have received no respite from the blistering sun — Monday’s maximum temperature for Mussoorie was six degrees above normal at 30.5 degrees Celsius while Dharamsala recording a maximum of 33.8 degrees Celsius.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 07:16 IST