Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rain Rain Come Again or Rain Rain Go Away?





The churning sound of drizzling! The pearl shower...! The drops on glass windows... Who doesn’t like these?

I love rain. I love to listen to the melody of rain from inside a straw hut or a house-roof with aluminum tin sheets! I love to enjoy the stunning sight when clouds play tricks with the sky, cocoon the sun after playing hide & seek and then bring the showers to the arid earth, the thirsty dusts quench its thirst and turn into vapor yielding a sweet, serene aroma! …..And I love to take delight of this milieu with garam chai and pakoda or some other scrumptious snacks, sitting in the verandah, welcoming the sprinkles to raise my every sense.

Rain grows some wonderful grains in the paddy fields, brightens the farmers’ lives and refreshes the river; Bestows the fish-eaters to be belly-full, livens the flora, and after all, sooth the scorching summer.

But does it have only the greener side?

India is among the countries which receives seasonal rainfall unlike the countries like Germany where rain occurs throughout the year. Most of India receives rain for only around 100 hours every year. The monsoon is extremely important for India as it fills up water reservoirs, replenishes ground water and is essential for the Indian agriculture of which around 70% are rainfed. Ofcourse, Northeastern India is a bit exceptional. It usually gets more rain in comparison to other parts of India. Mawsynram is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya state in north-eastern India, 65 kilometers from Shillong. It is reportedly the wettest place on Earth, with an annual rainfall of 11,872 millimetres (467.4 in). Charrapunji is a subdivisional town in the East Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya again which is credited as being the second wettest place on Earth.

A few weeks back, Delhi was longing for rain. Regular power cut, desert heat,  low water supply had become the key problems before the onset of monsoon.

By the middle of the last month, the monsoon finally landed the Metro and gave some relief from the hottest summer in the country’s capital in last 33 years. The urgency has gone, but the susceptibility of people across India to an increasingly unpredictable weather remains a serious cause for concern. An unexpected deluge can be destructive and deadly. Luckily not in the capital, but, 14 people died in Jaipur and Shekhawati regions of Rajasthan as torrential rains lashed several parts of the state last few days. On the other hand, 11 farmers committed suicide in last one month in Gujarat because of drought.

The monsoon accounts for more than 80% of India’s annual rainfall, feeding crops and filling the nation’s reservoirs. Weak rains can mean less to eat for millions. Major FMCG players like Dabur, Emami and Godrej are  concerned about the overall negative economic sentiment hurting demand as the late arrival of monsoon can have an impact on rural sales. India’s economic growth rate slipped to nine-year low of 6.5% in 2011-12 and current account deficit (CAD) has touched a high of 4%. Inflation, meanwhile, was high at 7.55% in May.

Apart from the impacts on country’s economy, in most of the cities or urban areas, monsoon comes with its bag and baggage, which includes water logging, traffic jam, water-caused diseases, humidity etc.
Heavy rains make many parts of the city to suffer from water logging, whether in posh or poor areas. The rainwater infrastructure, if it at all exists L, is not satisfactory to assure the drainage of the water and the lower areas to not get inundated. Roads get blocked leading to traffic jams; pedestrians have to stride through flooded streets. Besides, the urban poor, living in slums or trespasses have their homes often damaged by the rainwater, which may take several days to retrocede.

The polluted water with the mixture of the garbage and waste that is littered here and there also becomes a big risk to health. Not only that, there are so many manholes without cover, all over the cities. In a submerged street, these holes become invisible and cause a serious threat to pedestrians and the two-wheelers.

Though I have almost forgotten in my metro life, the greeting and gushing new feelings rain brings, I still try to eavesdrop its melody amidst these problems and try to say, “I love, sometimes I hate, but hey Rain, please you never be late!!!”

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