Monsoon mayhem

 MPost |  2016-07-19 22:16:11.0  |  New Delhi

However, with rains come floods, and with rivers on rampage there is annual mayhem across the country especially in north India, which is drained by Himalayan rivers. Over the last weekend, at least 21 people died in rain-related incidents across the country. With the Monsoon gaining momentum in several parts of northern India, this figure is set to go up.

The worst affected has been the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, where 10 people died in various rain-related mishaps – causing the death toll to shoot up to 30 since July 1. Police and state disaster management sources said four people were killed when their car was buried under the debris of a landslide triggered by heavy rain near Narendra Nagar town on Sunday afternoon.

 Three others lost their lives after their vehicle fell into a gorge, and two of a family died when a tree fell on their house in Uttarkashi district. In the fourth incident, an elderly woman was killed after a bus fell into a rivulet in Haldwani the same day. The state Met office has declared no relief from rains in the next 24 hours.

Though the national Capital heaved a sigh of relief after rains over the weekend, the water-clogged roads caused much chaos and could lead to outbreak of various water-borne diseases. With heavy rains in the Himalayas, the Yamuna river has been on the rise. 

Though release of large volume of water annually cleans the river, it also leads to floods in the low-lying areas on both sides of the river banks. Since neighbouring Haryana is witnessing widespread rainfall, the release of water in the river is only going to increase.

In the North-East, the situation in Assam has remained grave, with 1.77 lakh people being affected by unrelenting rainfall. Over 1,33,000 hectares of agricultural land are said to have been inundated across the state. 

According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, man and animal face great threat from of being swept away in the swirling flood waters.  The devastation of floods is not limited to Himalayan rivers alone. In Central India, Madhya Pradesh has been badly affected, with rainfall-induced floods affecting 23 of its 51 districts. So far 35 people have been confirmed dead. Over 8,000 people across the state have been forced to leave their inundated homes and take shelter in 27 temporary relief camps.

In Uttar Pradesh, eight people reportedly died in rain-related incidents across the state, even as the weatherman predicted more rains. In the state of Rajasthan, known for its arid climate, Karauli district administration has placed 53 villages on red alert after three lakh cusecs of water was released from Panchna dam. 

The administration has also sought the Army’s help to tackle a potential flood-like situation. Given the annual misery faced first by drought-like summer months and then floods caused by heavy rainfall, the Government has to plan for the long run to tide over the problem once and for all. Maybe interlinking of rivers could be a solution to the problem but that has to be done keeping in mind that it doesn’t tamper much with natural ecology of the area.

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