El Nino Effect Looms over Monsoon - The New Indian Express

El Nino Effect Looms over Monsoon

Published: 24th March 2014 08:39 AM

Last Updated: 24th March 2014 10:39 AM

The Ministry of Agriculture has cautioned the State over crisis of water for irrigation as it apprehends that the El Nino effect could play spoilsport with the monsoon this year.

With major reservoirs in the country reporting modest storage, it has asked the State to be judicious in its water utilisation to avoid any shortage for agricultural purposes. The reports on El Nino points towards deficient monsoon rainfall during 2014, the Ministry said adding, it may cause a delay in onset of the monsoon or even an early withdrawal.

“This may lead to crisis of water for agriculture sector and one of the important strategies to tackle the climatic event is advanced preparedness for judicious use of available water,” Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture RB Sinha’s letter to Principal Secretary, Agriculture Rajesh Verma said.

As per the Central Water Commission report, the total live storage in 85 major reservoirs of the country stands at a measly 44 per cent of the total capacity as on March 20. Exactly a month ago, the level stood at 52 per cent and has reported a drop.

In Odisha, all the seven reservoirs have reported a similar trend. Hirakud’s live storage was 59 per cent of the total, whereas in Balimela, it was 69 per cent. Salandi and Rengali reported 80 per cent-plus live storage whereas Upper Kolab reported 59 per cent storage. In Machhkund and Upper Indravati, the level was 69 per cent and 75 per cent respectively.

The Ministry has asked the State to keep the Water Resources Department posted about the status and remain prepared with an utilisation plan to avoid any crisis.

The monsoon is not the only worry for the State though. For, the India Meteorological Department has warned of mercury soaring across the State over next week, signalling what is in store for the ensuing summer.

While the day temperature has gone up in the interior as well as coastal districts in the past week, the weather office said the rising trend will continue over next two weeks. “We expect the day temperature to reach 40 degree Celsius by the end of the month. The coastal pockets too will see the mercury rise but interior districts will report a comparatively higher jump,” Director, IMD, Odisha SC Sahu said.

For the coastal districts, the occasional thundershowers and hailstorms may bring down the temperature but interior districts will have no such luck. Sahu said the thundershower activities will be localised in nature. In fact, Jajpur reported hailstorm on Saturday.

The IMD said most of the stations will record temperature above 35 degree Celsius. Bhubaneswar, which recorded 35.9 degree on Sunday, is predicted to record above 37 degree over next week.

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