By Chandrakant Naidu
Bhopal, Aug 18 (IANS) With about six monsoon weeks still to go, Bhopal is looking at breaking the rainfall record of 168.64 cm set 13 years ago.
At the current rate, it doesn’t seem far-fetched as the state capital has so far received 111.49 cm of rain, 73 per cent more than the average for 10 weeks of the season so far.
Senior meteorologist A.K. Shukla said that in 2006, the rainfall in August alone was 90.9 cm. This year, the intensity of rain points to similar conditions and prospects of another 57 cm can’t be ruled out.
Two months ago, the 11th century iconic Upper Lake in the city had hit the dead storage level of 1,552 feet. It has now hit full tank level three times during the past fortnight.
Most parts of the state are drenched after three ordinary years of monsoon.
Four months ago, Madhya Pradesh was staring at a grim drought with nearly 4,000 villages in 36 out of the 52 districts reeling under despairing conditions. A lean monsoon last year had left in its trail a grave crisis for the third successive year.
The Panchayat and Rural Development Department had reported that 40 rivers, which provide water to these villages, had gone dry and micro-watershed management was in complete disarray.
The pendulum has swung the other way now with most parts of the state having experienced 30 to 50 per cent excessive rainfall during the past two weeks.
Four persons, including a woman and her daughter, were drowned in Mandsaur and Betul districts of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday as nearly 3,000 people were shifted to relief camps following heavy downpour.
Almost the entire state is receiving rains, and some areas are likely to experience “very heavy to extremely heavy” rainfall before Monday, the Met Department has warned.
Major rivers such as Narmada, Kshipra, Betwa, Tapti, Tawa, Chambal and Parwati in the state are in spate. There have been 49 deaths due to drowning so far and another 15 have died due to lightening till August 16, said G.V. Rashmi, Additional Secretary to the state revenue and relief department.
With sustained spells of heavy rainfall, the state, barring four districts, has received excess rainfall this season. As of August 17, the state had received 729.2 mm of rainfall, which is 19 per cent above the average 614.8 mm rainfall.
As many as 33 districts, including Bhaepal, have received more than normal rainfall. The highest excess of 130 per cent was recorded in Mandsaur district. Neemuch has received 98 per cent, Agar Malwa 81 per cent and Bhaepal 74 per cent excess rainfall.
Some people were shifter to seven relief camps from the Malhargarh area, Mandsaur tehsil and Mandsaur city in the district following floods. Water of the overflowing Shivani river has entered the famous Pashupatinath Mahadev temple on its bank in Mandsaur.
Eight districts of Malwa region — Shajapur, Jhabua, Ratlam, Rajgarh, Badwani, Ujjain, Burhanpur and Guna — have all received more 50 per cent excess rainfall.
Sidhi, Shahdol, Panna and Balaghat are the four districts that are still rain deficient in Madhya Pradesh.
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