VELLORE: The district has received an average rainfall of 22.92 mm in a 24 hour period from 8.30 am on Sunday. Arakkonam (66 mm) and Kaveripakkam (43.22 mm) recorded the highest rainfall during the period. Vellore (38 mm), Ambur (20 mm), Walajapet (18 mm), Sholinghur (22 mm) and Arcot (32.2 mm) also recorded good rainfall.
Calling the continuous sharp showers across the district as a blessing for the farmers, farmer L C Mani of Tamil Nadu Vivasaigal Sangam said that the incessant rain will increase the ground water levels and give promising yields to farmers in the coming season. He, however, said that encroachments on water-bodies dim the possibility of water storage in PWD tanks, ponds and lakes in the district.
In Vellore City, residential areas in Kansalpet, Kaspa, Shenpakkam and several other areas along the Nicholson Canal were flooded. Several houses were also filled with knee deep rain water.
Diwali Spirit Wanes
The two days of incessant rains (Sunday and Monday)has, however, dampened the spirit of festivities making for a quiet Diwali this year. Rains alone are not being seen as the cause - spiraling cost of crackers, people losing interest in bursting crackers in addition to the unexpected rains are also contributing causes.
Many private vendors have admitted that sales of crackers have been dull. Enquiries in the bazaar area revealed that the cost of crackers, by and large, have increased up to 30 to 40 per cent this year as compared to last year. However, gift packs, priced in the range of `100-`750 with neat, air-tight packaging are selling well. Cooperative outlets in and around Vellore were able to increase sales to the salaried class.
Youngsters seem to have lost interest in bursting crackers as residential areas were free from the usual noise and smoke. The closing of schools and colleges on Monday because of the rains was welcomed by youngsters. Some parents however, rued that the unexpected holiday had put them in a spot as their wards had become restless since they were unable to burst crackers.
While the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board will monitor the air-quality level during the festival in crowded pockets across the district and initiate suitable action against those who flout the norms, the rains have come as a big relief to the Department of Fire and Rescue Operations as it will lower the number of cracker-related accidents. The department in fact launched a publicity campaign to educate youngsters in schools through demonstrations on how to burst crackers safely.
Sweetmeat shops across the district are offering a variety of sweets this year along with gift packages at reduced rates. Some of them are also offering free home delivery this year.
Aavin has introduced a special gift-pack containing ghee, sweets made from milk and khova, available for `250. The packs are being sold in Aavin parlours in Sathuvachari in the Old and New Bus Stands, VIT university, Katpadi railway station and CMC hospital.
Gold and readymade textile shop owners say that they too have had fewer visitors this year, compared to last year.