Rains raise hope in drought-hit State

Rains raise hope in drought-hit State

The pre-monsoon showers, thought to be erratic during May, have brought some relief across the entire State except in the four North Karnataka districts of Bidar, Bagalkot, Bijapur and Yadgir.

The data available with the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) reveals that 26 districts received “isolated” to “widespread” rainfall in the past 24 hours.

The highest rainfall of 42.3 mm was recorded in Udupi district, close to 281 per cent above normal. The lowest, zero rainfall, was recorded in Yadgir.

However, according to weathermen, these rains may not sustain over the next week. The Monday evening showers across the State are no indicators for the monsoon season, they said. Speaking to Deccan Herald, B Puttanna, Director of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Bangalore, said the next few days may not even yield 25 per cent of the water received on Monday.

“Monday’s rainfall is no indicator of the monsoon season. We received a good rainfall, but it will not sustain over the next few days. We hope that the monsoon arrives by the first week of June,” he said.

Puttanna said Bangalore Urban district alone has a 16 per cent deficit, despite the heavy showers on Monday. It is said that every year the City receives no less than 115 mm of rain in May and lesser in June. This May, the rainfall, including the Monday night showers, was only 90 mm.

Indicators strong

“The monsoon indicators, however, are strong. With the southwestern winds arriving over the Andaman Islands before May 20, we expect the rains to hit the State by June 5 or much before,” he said. Puttanna said the final indicators for monsoon season will be available by May 31.

The power situation, thanks to the heavy rainfall in the coastal areas and in the interior parts of southern Karnataka, has improved in the State. According to the Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL), the power consumption has gone down considerably as a result of low requirements in the rural areas.

“We were ready to go up to 172 million units (MU) of energy for the five electricity supply companies. But the requirement for agriculture sector and the rural areas has gone down due to the rainfall in the past three days,” said KPTCL Managing Director Selvakumar.

The power consumption came down to 149.88 MU on May 21, as compared to 169 MU on May 15. It is said one-third of the power consumption is in the rural areas of the State.
As a result, KPTCL has been able to cut back on its power production and retain water levels in the storage areas of reservoirs.

The KSNDMC, on its part, is hoping that the State can tide over the water crisis, despite the stoppage of water supply to the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam from the Hemavati reservoir on Monday.

“The diversion of water from Hemavati has stopped as of Monday. However, the rainfall on the same day towards evening has increased the reservoir levels,” said Dr V Prakash, director of KSNDMC. The levels in KRS and Kabini have increased, albeit negligibly.
Government officials said, while in KRS the water level has increased by no less than 300 cusecs, in Kabini there is an inflow of 70 cusecs.

Relief for B’lore

To tide over the water woes of Bangalore City, apart from the brief showers on Monday, it is said that close to 450 cusecs of water is likely to be received in the next 24 to 48 hours by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). The officials of the Water  Baord said arrangements had been made for providing 650 cusecs of water to Bangalore City and that the water had reached the catchment area of Madhavamantri Anecut, 120 km from Torekadanahalli reservoir.

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