Fury of Nature: Erratic Monsoon
Jun 22, 2023
Fury of Nature:
The monsoon routinely arrives in Kerala by the 1st week of June. For any reason, it reaches the coast of Kerala no later than the second week of June. The State receives summer rains by the April end. I have never seen or heard of an indefinite delay in monsoon arrival in my home State. Coastal Maharashtra, which has some resemblances with the Malabar region, gets the monsoon a week later. Sadly, the monsoon that brings us the elixir has changed its routine. Nature becomes revengeful for our misdeeds with Earth.
Most of India is rain-fed. Some parts get heavy rains. But this year, the regions usually with scanty rain are under floods while the vast tracts of the rain-fed regions are desperately looking up for a raindrop. IMD routinely predicts the arrival of monsoon only to amend what it has said. A few days ago, it said that the monsoon would set in by June 18. Biparjoy compelled it to change the prediction. Technology has evolved over the years to achieve accuracy in weather predictions. Machines are machines with no control over the rain. While machines are manmade, rains are the creation of nature.
We have entered June-end. The heat waves of summer have not parted ways. A few days ago, a heat wave killed over 100 people in north India. None was bothered about the heavy toll and tried to explore the reason for the rising temperature.
Deficient rain impacts 80% of paddy farming. It adversely affects other food grain productions. Insufficient food grain production directly contributes to high inflation and farmers’ unrest. These may render the worst socio-economic crisis.
A city like Mumbai cannot survive without rain as it entirely depends on rainwater alone. Villagers may be able to survive to some extent with scanty rains, but the city is not at all. Mumbaikars may have to keep asking their security men and society office bearers for water-supply solutions. How long one can survive in the city is not anyone’s guess.
Instead of stopping leaders from cutting down trees and bringing down mountains for ‘development’, we support their actions. We thought, more than water, we needed extensive highways.
Rain may come later to fill our dry reservoirs. But the delayed rain may be a spoiler for farmers who feed us. A ‘compensatory’ downpour, if there is one in the coming days, may satisfy official measurement records. But that can prove to be a bigger disaster and loss of water into the sea.
Let us not be the victims of undesirable developments and unwise planning.