rain became the cause of destruction


Rains have caused havoc in most parts of northwest India including Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana and Punjab. Around 23 people died in landslides and other related incidents due to heavy rains. Most of the rivers in the region including the Yamuna in Delhi are in spate. Due to the torrential rains, not only the roads but also the residential areas of all the cities and towns were submerged in knee-deep water and the whole system collapsed. Roads were washed away in the hilly areas due to the sudden flood, which has caused great distress to the people. The authorities have advised tourists to start their journey only after the weather improves. Rail services have also been affected. Northern Railway said it has canceled around 17 trains and diverted around 12 others. Traffic has been suspended at four places due to water-logging. Heavy rain warning has been issued in some areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. After 1982, Delhi recorded the highest number of day-long rains in July. The authorities have issued a warning in view of the rising water level of the Yamuna. Several people were killed in three incidents of landslides in Himachal Pradesh. A red alert for excessive rain has been issued in 10 districts of the state. Adequate rains have ensured to make up for all the deficit southwest monsoon. Within just eight days, the 10 per cent deficit in rainfall has now become 2 per cent excess. This year, the total rainfall in the monsoon season till July 9, 2023 has reached 243.2 mm, which is 2 per cent more than the normal of 239.1 mm. In Delhi, 153 mm of rain was recorded between 8:30 am on July 8 and 8:30 am on July 9. While on July 9, from 8.30 am to 1.30 pm on the same day, 106 mm of rain was received. In a statement, the Meteorological Department said, ‘Due to the interaction between the Western Disturbance and the Monsoon winds, northwest India is receiving heavy rains. The Delhi government has issued a flood alert in the Yamuna after Haryana released more than one lakh cusecs of water from the Hathnikund barrage. Gurugram is also facing the wrath of monsoon since last few days. Almost all the major roads there are knee-deep in water. Northwest India received 383 per cent more rainfall than normal on July 9. In 24 hours, Punjab recorded 1151 per cent more than normal rainfall, Himachal Pradesh 1193 per cent more than normal and Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh 901 per cent more than normal rainfall. As far as other states are concerned, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi received 788 per cent more rainfall in 24 hours. West Uttar Pradesh, including Ghaziabad and Noida, received 238 per cent excess rainfall in 24 hours.

In Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, all the arrangements have gone haywire due to the rains. It is difficult to estimate the devastation due to the rains, relief work should start immediately for those whose houses or shops have been washed away or who have become homeless. Society should work shoulder to shoulder with the government for relief work. There are many examples in front of us of how a person becomes helpless in front of the rain. The rivers are still in spate, water is being released to save the dams, due to which the situation is getting worse. Restoring water and sewerage systems should be a priority for governments.

Water has caused heavy damage to houses as well as industrial areas in several cities in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Traffic is badly affected due to damage to roads and bridges. The devastation caused by the rains has created a sort of emergency situation. Governments should ensure that no one takes undue advantage of this situation. Relief work should be everyone’s priority.

– Irwin Khanna (Chief Editor, Dainik Uttam Hindu)

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