Bone dry or deluge — the freakish monsoon is killing Indians either way

A flood-affected woman prepares food in Jogighopa, Assam.Photo) (
  • India is facing two extreme weather conditions together— drought and floods.
  • One corner of the country — Assam and parts of Bihar is fighting heavy floods. Others like Chennai and Hyderabad are running dry, due to light or no showers at all.
  • The seasonal monsoon rains which are supposed to start in June were late in almost every part of the country.
India is facing two extreme weather conditions together — heavy floods and drought. That is affecting millions of people, particularly the poor. These extreme weather conditions will weaken the economic productivity, in addition to wreaking destruction, and displacing a large number of people.

The seasonal monsoon rains which are supposed to start in June were late in almost every part of the country. One corner of the country — Assam and parts of Bihar is fighting heavy floods. Others like Chennai and Hyderabad are running dry, due to light or no showers at all.

Too Little, too late

India’s monsoon is crucial as it accounts for 70% of its annual rainfall. If the monsoons are lower or slower, it leads to water crisis, due to its almost exclusive dependence on it. The government think tank NITI Aayog expects as many as 21 cities to be devoid of ground water by 2020.

Cities are running dry one after the other. First Chennai went dry and with less or no drinking water for its citizens. Now, the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabadhave less than two months to go for monsoon to fix its water problems. And, they are already late and lower than expected.

Water crisis has become common almost every year. In 2018, 600 million Indians were exposed to acute water crisis, according to Niti Aayog. In 2017, five south Indian states faced water shortages like Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Too Much

Uncertain weather patterns brought too much rain leading floods and landslides in Assam. At least 28 districts in Assam are affected. So far, 30 people have been reported dead and 5.8 million displaced due to monsoon floods in Assam.

The water level of Brahmaputra continues to rise above the danger mark in at least 10 places, reported Reuters, citing Assam Disaster Management Authority.

People are forced to drink dirty water and eat anything they get. Parts of Bihar too are flooded, forcing evacuation of affected residents.

Separately, a second spell of monsoon is likely to bring extremely heavy rains in the coming days in Kerala. Six districts in the state including Idukki, Malappuram, and Wayanad are on high alert from 18 July to 20 July.

Last year in August 2018, Kerala was swept away by deadly monsoon rains taking as many as 504 lives. The state, was caught off guard and 3.4 million people were displaced. In all, 23 million people were affected at the price of $2.7 billion, reported India spend.

Unexpected weather conditions have been dogging the country for a few years now. Two years back, heavy rains and widespread flooding across India, Bangladesh and Nepal led to death of 1,200 people. As many as 805,183 homes and 18 million people were affected in Northern India. The total damages and destructions by the floods in 2017 were $2.5 billion, according to Central Water Commission.

See also:
India’s water crisis deepens as Hyderabad might run out of water, like Chennai

Five years on, India may not even get a chance to solve its on-going water crisis risking hundreds of millions of lives

The weatherman has warned of heavy rains in Kerala, which just got $250 million World Bank aid to recover from last year's floods
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