Monsoon experiences a countrywide deficit of 10 percent in July

News this week
July experiences rain deficit of 10 percent (Source: IWP Flickr photos) July experiences rain deficit of 10 percent (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Monsoon 2020: Countrywide deficit of 10 percent in July; September may have heavy rains

As per data from the India Meteorological Department, July experienced deficient rains due to a monsoon trough (line of low pressure) moving towards the Himalayan foothills repeatedly, which left many parts of northwest and central India dry. With the countrywide monsoon deficit of 10 percent, July became the driest month in five years. However, the monsoon forecast by the weather agency for the second half of the season points out to the possibility of heavy rains in September as La Nina conditions are expected to develop in the Pacific, which generally aids the Indian summer monsoon. As of now, the overall monsoon is neither in deficit nor in surplus as June had a rain surplus of nearly 18 percent while July ended with a 10 percent deficit. (Hindustan Times, The Times of India)

After Assam, Bihar, heavy rains batter Kerala

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted extremely heavy rains in-- Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Alappuzha districts-- in the state raising concerns of aggravated flood situation in low lying areas.  A red alert has been sounded for these districts as they are likely to receive more rains. Last week, a devastating landslide at Pettimudi near Rajamala caused by heavy downpour took 43 lives. The flood situation is further aggravating in the state due to incessant rains, landslides and opening of shutters of dams across rivers. Six shutters of Pamba dam in Pathanamthitta district have been opened raising fear of floods in Ranni, Chengannur and Kuttanad regions. (Business Insider)

New version of the India-WRIS launched

With new functionalities and features, the Ministry of Jal Shakti has launched a new version of the India Water Resources Information System (India-WRIS). The portal is open to the public and contains information related to water resources through dashboards for rainfall, water levels & discharge of rivers, water bodies, groundwater levels, reservoir storages among several others. The first version of the system was launched in July 2019. The portal receives data from many central and state agencies on a regular basis and any stakeholder can visualise the information in a user-friendly manner, as well as download the information in the form of excel reports and graphs. (Devdiscourse)

Proposed Pancheshwar Dam threatens flora and fauna: Report

As per the recently released State of Environment Report compiled by the Uttarakhand Pollution Control Board in collaboration with GB Pant Agriculture and Technical University, the proposed Pancheshwar Dam along the Indo-Nepal border will threaten the existence of more than 300 species of flora and fauna. The proposed project, a joint venture between India and Nepal, envisages to build a 315-metre-high dam on Kali river at Pancheshwar in Champawat district. The report points out that along with having an adverse impact on around 43 mammals, 193 varieties of flora, 30 species of fish and 70 species of bird in the region, it will also submerge 87 villages of Almora, Champawat and Pithoragarh. (The Times of India)

10 lakh women self-help groups help over 45 lakh households during Covid-19 pandemic

Bihar is now the first state in the country to have 10 lakh women self help groups (SHGs), functioning under Jeevika, a World Bank-supported poverty alleviation programme to empower women and make them self-reliant. Nearly 1.20-crore women in the state have got involved in these groups who availed Rs 12,200 crore worth loan from banks to start their own income-generating activities and the repayment is also timely. Even during the lockdown period, the SHGs have benefitted 45.5 lakh households through its various activities like production of masks and serving food to quarantined people and in-patients. (Hindustan Times)

This is a roundup of important news published between July 21 - August 9, 2020. Also read policy matters this week.

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