June 18, 2009

life in general: monsoon eludes bombay & north of it!

In my previous (last Friday) blog post on monsoon, I posted a satellite picture of the Indian sub-continent from the University of Dundee's satellite receiving station. In that picture, you can see a large cloud formation taking place deep inside the Arabian Sea.

Well, look at the latest (yesterday evening's) satellite picture below (click on the image to see it enlarged). That large cloud formation has now approached the Indian coast. But it is to the south west of Bombay and if winds, as they have been in the last many days, continue to flow from west to east (instead of south-west to north-east as they normally do during this time of the year) then Bombay could be in serious trouble. If no new big cloud formations form quickly that moves in the direction of Bombay and north of it, there won't be any decent amount of rainfall for another 2 weeks at least.

As per Indian Meteorological Department's (IMD's) regional centre in Bombay, the rainfall-measuring centres in Colaba and Santacruz have recorded, (till now in this year's monsoon season), a rainfall of only 5.5 millimeters and 0.1 millimeters that, compared to the IMD normal figures for 18 June is short by 227 millimeters and 205 millimeters respectively.

IMD's report of 10 June for Maharashtra and Goa revealed the following facts:


CHIEF FEATURES : . South West monsoon further advanced into some more parts of Central Arabian Sea on 06th June.The Northern limit of monsoon passed through 15 o N/ 60 o E ,15 o N/ 70 o E and Karwar. On 7th it further advanced into some more parts of Central Arabian Sea, entire Goa State and some more parts of South Konkan. The Northern limit of monsoon passed through 17 o N/ 60 o E ,17 o N/ 70 o E, Ratnagiri and Gadag.

a) Districtwise rainfall for the week ending 13-06-2009 ( From 04-06-2009 to 10-06-2009 )

Excess Goa,Sindhudurg,Gadchiroli,Chandrapur
Normal Ahmednagar,Pune,Sangli,Satara,Nagpur,Bhandara.
Deficient ratnagiri,Kolhapur,
Scanty Mumbai,Raigad,Nandurbar,Nashik,Solapur,Aurangabad,Beed,Jalna,Latur,Nanded,Osmanabad,Parbhani,Amaravati,Buldhana,Gondia,Wardha,Washim,Yeotmal
No Rain Thane,Dhule,Jalgaon,Akola,

In Bombay, to make matters much worse, the 4-5 artificially-constructed lakes 100-200 kms to the north-east and north of Bombay are seeing their water levels (from last year's monsoon) fall. See the newsreport here or read it below the satellite image below. Water, in the meanwhile, continues to used recklessly and wastefully by the affluent citizens of Bombay. It is a criminal waste as I have highlighted in a couple of past blog posts. But BMC and the mainstream media will continue to maintain a criminal silence on it and do absolutely nothing about it. Shame on such Indians!

18 Jun 2009, 0049 hrs IST, Sukhada Tatke , TNN
There is more bad news for the city which is already facing a 10% water cut. More water cuts seem imminent if it does not rain by the end of the week as the dipping lake levels have become a cause for concern.
The city right now has water reserves to last only up to a fortnight. Of the six lakes that supply water to the city, the Vihar and the Upper Vaitarna have already reached the lowest drawable level. The Tansa and the Tulsi have enough water to last for a week and the Bhatsa and the Modak Sagar can continue supplying water with ease till the end of the month.
Civic officials say they cannot take the risk of using up all the water that is there now and that is why more water cuts may be a reality. "The water levels are dripping drastically. This will pose a major problem next year. The situation is very grim, the meteorological department has not been able to give us a proper prediction,'' said a senior civic official.
Hydraulic chief S S Korlekar said the department would have to assess the situation and come to a conclusion soon. "We have to still decide on how much further we need to increase the cut,'' he said.
The hydraulic department, in its white paper tabled at the civic standing committee on Wednesday, blamed unplanned and rapid development in the past three decades for the water scarcity in the city and warned the situation might worsen if the state and the BMC continued to provide FSI and TDR sops. But civic chief Jairaj Phatak said: "FSI does not necessarily lead to population growth. Even if there is an increase in FSI, the same people get rehabilitated after redevelopment,'' he justified. However, corporators cried foul saying that the explanation was not good enough.
"The white paper clearly says that the water supply network has been planned on the basis of norms formulated in the Development Control (DC) Regulations, 1991, where FSI for the island city and suburbs was restricted to 1.33 and 1. Phatak always presented the amendments in the DC rules in a positive light,'' BJP leader Ashish Shelar said.
The white paper says: "The incentive FSI and TDR perquisites for slum and private redevelopment of new and dilapidated buildings have put severe burden on it, leading to reduced water supply.''

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