Thursday, July 30, 2009

#Chennai - Still drizzle continues, and more Heavy drizzles to come till midnight.
Latest satellite pic shows, Heavy rain over Chennai and over west Bengal.
Heavy rain in West bengal continue today..
#chennai - Heavy showers with lightning continue in Eastern and southern suburbs, while drizzling in Saidapet.
#chennai - Heavy showers still lashing south, and south-west suburbs.. here in saidapetr it's drizzling.
#chennai - Heavy electric shower sweeping across southern, south-west and now south-east suburbs of Chennai.
#chennai - Heavy electric rain now 6:03pm
#chennai - Nice sea breeze has forced this Sudden build up of rain from west.
#chennai - It's getting heavier, and it'll be a short burst.
#chennai - Mild drizzle now 5:55pm in Saidapet from west
#chennai - Temperature now 1:43pm is soaring past 36.8°C.. High clouds are getting cleared up.
As always Konkan & coastal Karnataka is still receiving Heavy showers. .. Satellite shows a Very disappointing NORTH and North-west India. ** Not good at all for Punjab, U.P and Himachl
RT @vvmanoj: Its so hot and humid here in delhi feels like I am in mumbai or chennai
RT @ADrink4Tomorrow: Water Shortage Causes Violence in India: ..
RT @ADrink4Tomorrow: Water Shortage Causes Violence in India: A late monsoon and the driest June in 83 years are creating problems in..
Cruel weather, uncaring government

Cruel weather, uncaring government

The behaviour of the monsoon this year raises a number of questions. Does the Meteorological Department really understand monsoons in the Indian subcontinent? Do these forecasters understand that for farmers it is not the total quantum of rainfall in a season that counts, but its spread over time in keeping with needs of the crops they sow?

If the monsoon is good, judged by the total quantum and distribution over the whole season, the crops are good. Food supplies then become ample and the whole nation is happy. On the other hand, if the monsoon fails either in total quantum or its distribution thereof, the entire burden of suffering falls on the farmer.


Non-farmers and the government that represents them are cagey and niggardly in coming to their help. If the government does come forward at all to give some kind of help, that does not even begin to make up for the losses suffered by the farmers.

This was the impression one was left with after the submissions of the Minister for Agriculture, Mr Sharad Pawar, to the Cabinet and, a day later, to the Rajya Sabha in response to a calling attention motion on the drought situation in the country. The Minister had earlier made public statements outside Parliament that there was no serious threat of famine, notwithstanding the delay in the arrival of the monsoons.

In his submission to the Cabinet, the Minister admitted that the rainfall was deficient and that it was expected to affect kharif crops. His recommendations to the Cabinet for providing relief included a suggestion that the committee overseeing the National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) be empowered to take final decisions regarding drought relief and relaxation, depending upon the needs of the affected States.

The NCCF would have done its assessment and taken appropriate measures to help the States, but by then half the country would be in the grip of drought, or under the shadow of famine.

To give only an example of how these things work, the Government of Bihar contacted the Agriculture Minister, who in turn responded in bureaucratic fashion, demanding specific details of the regions affected and promising a visit by a central inter-ministerial Group for assessment of the situation.

Uttar Pradesh, yet another State under a non-UPA government , has been unable to establish contact at the highest level. This makes little sense. Mr Pawar should know, as he is a member of the NCCF committee. When he made his presentation to the Cabinet, Manipur, Assam and Jharkhand had announced a situation of drought.

Some of Mr Pawar’s other recommendations are: That the Centre accept to share an unspecified part of the diesel subsidy to agriculture; that the Power Ministry grant an additional 100 MW from the Central pool to farmers in Punjab and Haryana for the next 15 days; and that the terms of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme be expanded to help agricultural labour.

The recommendations of the Minister do not amount even to superficial first-aid, when farmers are actually suffering from a grievous injury, because of the tantrums of nature. However, the worst was still to come.


In reply to the calling attention motion in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister announced that though the total crop would be affected there was no need to fear any shortages of grain. Mr Pawar categorically asserted that the food position was quite comfortable as the country had sufficient stocks for the next 13 months.

Having said this, he proceeded to announce a general ban on the export of all non-basmati rice as also all varieties of wheat.

The Agriculture Minister, a self-proclaimed leader of farmers , has put the farmers in a double jeopardy. By his own admission, farmers are expected to suffer a substantial loss in crops. Still, he asserted that, “However, this will not affect the availability of food grains in the country and there were enough stocks in the kitty.”

Under these circumstances, why ban export of foodgrains? There would be time enough to go into drastic measures of this type when, in due course, food stocks get depleted. The announcement of the Minister would have a double-blow effect: subjecting the farmers to lower prices for depleted production. Would any other Union Minister have taken a comparable policy decision in his domain in comparable circumstances?

Let us imagine, for example, a situation where a labourers’ strike or power load-shedding results in reduced production in the case of an industry. Would the government have decided to ban the export of that commodity if there was a comfortable stocks situation for a whole year to come?

The Agriculture Minister avoided making any comments about the possibility of importing food. “That might trigger reactions in the international market,” he said.

The experience of the recent years shows that international traders are more savvy about the Government of India’s shopping plans than either House of Parliament. Even before Mr Pawar could admit that there was a risk of crop deficiency, dealers in the commodity futures had moved to make certain adjustments in trade dealings. Politicians can fool Indian citizens but international traders are too wily to be blinded by political smart talk.
Bay of Bengal may not host a monsoon system strong enough to attract the away-going flows until August 9 ..

Rains lash north-west, North-East

Rain-deficient North-West India, Bihar and the North-East continued to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall as a migratory monsoon trough has aligned itself in perfect accord. The axis of the trough passes through Ferozepur, Ambala, Bareilly, Gorakhpur, Bhagalpur and Kolkata before dipping into east-central Bay of Bengal.

The India Met Department said fairly widespread rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy falls was likely along the Himalayan foothills, the North-Eastern States and parts of the plains of North-West India during the next two days.

A warning valid for the next 24 hours said that isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall was likely over West Bengal, Sikkim, East Uttar Pradesh, North Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

Coastal Andhra Pradesh and north coastal Tamil Nadu may gain during this phase even as East-Central India braces for a wet session over the next few days.

This is expected to materialise with the formation of a low-pressure area over the north-central Bay by the weekend, which international models say could be ‘moderately strong.’

The Noida-based National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) has maintained its outlook for the ‘low’ with prospects of intensification.

However, international models do not indicate any dramatic rainfall over central India that could signal a revival of the monsoon.

But this may just rev up further the wet session over East and North-East India, and to some extent East-Central India. Surprise gains are also likely in parts of Andhra Pradesh, adjoining Vidarbha, east Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.


The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) continued to show the peninsular branch of a bifurcated westerly flow dipping into the equatorial Indian Ocean to the south of Sri Lanka and streaking away East into the West and Central Pacific.

This would mean that the Bay of Bengal may not host a monsoon system strong enough to attract the away-going flows until August 9 up to which forecasts were available.

This may delay a comprehensive revival of the monsoon till that date, though the other arm of the westerly flow fanning into the plains of the North may hold on gamely.

Meanwhile, a truncated offshore trough overnight got a fresh lease of life on Wednesday and reset itself from the Karnataka to the Kerala coast.
#chennai - If OUR monsoon fails then, WHAT?? Already chennai this year has registered a rainfall deficient of 93% till date.
#chennai - People have to wait out another Full 2 months atleast, till end of September for our "#Monsoon to begin".
#chennai - water scarcity along chennai suburbs is getting acute.
#chennai - A mild cloudy morning now 8:26am