18 May, 2021

Harvest Of Teardrops

Sporadic rains in March have brought little relief

Harvest Of Teardrops

Both monsoon rains failed Kerala this time. The southwest, which typically brings heavy downpour for three months from June, showed 34 per cent deficiency in 2016. Still worse, tulaavarsham—as the retreating monsoon is locally called—was 64 per cent below normal in November-­December. Result: Kerala is reeling under the worst drought in 115 years.

This March, yes, Kerala did receive a few days of intermittent summer rains, but that’s not enough to pull it out of its drought-affected status, according to the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA). Two hill districts—Palakkad and Wayanad—are the worst affected, because of encroachment into the ponds and rivers alongside a steep decline in the groundwater. Further north, Kannur and Kasargod did not receive much summer rains, yet the condition in these two districts is not too bad because of the conservation of the ponds and rivers, says the SDMA.

Authorities are supplying water in tan­kers to the drought-hit areas. The Kerala administration has asked the Centre for a...

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