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The curious case of monsoon: rains play hide and seek
Published on 2 Jul. 2009 12:02 AM IST
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When it rains, it pours - when it doesn't, you can only wait. That was the situation of the monsoon that has 'officially' hit most parts of the country, but has been elusive in Delhi and has kept Maharashtra "worried". Delhiites rejoiced in the rain early Wednesday but only for a few hours - after which the humidity set in. "Delhi has received no rain since 8.30 a.m. Wednesday," an official said. According to the India Meteorological Department, the southwest monsoon has further advanced into remaining parts of Punjab and Haryana and isolated parts of north Rajasthan. "Widespread rainfall activity with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim are likely during the next two to three days. Over northeastern states during the next three to four days, isolated extremely heavy rainfall (25 cm) is expected over Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh," a senior IMD offical said. The weather might have changed for the better in the national capital but not the mood of the people as protests continued Wednesday over power cuts and water shortage. "Na bijli, na paani, yeh kaisi rajdhani?" (No power, no water - what kind of a capital is this?) chanted angry residents in some parts of the national capital. In some areas, irate residents of the capital protested the erratic water supply by shouting slogans and breaking earthern pots in the middle of the road. In Punjab and Haryana, the weatherman seemed to have got it correct as monsoon reached all regions of the two states Wednesday. The Chandigarh Met department recorded 16.2 mm of rain in the city in the last 24 hours. There were spells of moderate to heavy rainfall in most of regions of Punjab and Haryana, and there has been a dip in the mercury by five to six degrees Celsius across the two states. Up north in Himachal Pradesh, the southwest monsoon remained active Wednesday and the state experienced intermittent showers, weather officials in Shimla said. "The monsoon remained active all over the state in the past 24 hours," Shimla meteorological office director Manmohan Singh told IANS. In Bihar too the rain gods smiled as it rained well in many parts of the state. Patna Met Office director S. I. Lashkar said that monsoon has finally arrived in Bihar and rains were reported from different parts of the state in the past 72 hours. More rains are expected in the coming days, he added. There has been heavy to extremely heavy rains in the northeast with the monsoon getting active over the region in the past 24 hours. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya witnessed heavy to extremely heavy rains, while the rainfall was isolated over Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram, according to the regional meteorological centre in Guwahati. According to forecasts, there would be widespread rain in the northeast in the next 48 hours, with the region expecting between 25 to 35 cm rains. The world's wettest spot Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya recorded 43 cm rains in the past 24 hours. In Mumbai, the financial capital of the country, however, the monsoon scenario continues to cause concern to the authorities and people alike. Usually, July is the wettest month of the season, but the weather bureau has forecast only a few spells of rain or thundershowers in Mumbai city and suburbs during the next 48 hours. The municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai has warned that only 20 days' water supply is available for Mumbai, while the state government is contemplating supplying water every alternate day till the rains normalise. There were no rains in Kolkata Wednesday even though the sky was cloudy. However, monsoon rains lashed the metropolis and West Bengal Tuesday. The highest rainfall of 51 mm was recorded in Burdwan district Tuesday, according to the Met Office. Five people died after a lightning struck them at Ketugram in the district, police said.

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