Northeast monsoon failure: State declares 24 districts drought-hit

The Tamil Nadu government, in an extraordinary gazette, has notified 24 districts of Tamil Nadu including Chennai as drought affected due to the failure of the north east monsoon.
Northeast monsoon failure: State declares 24 districts drought-hit
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Chennai

Atulya K Misra, Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, in a detailed notification declared Chennai, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Karur, Salem, Vellore, Tiruchy, Perambalur, Tiruvallur, Namakkal, Virudhunagar, Kancheepuram, Madurai, Dindigul, Erode, Pudukottai, Sivagangai, Thanjavur, Viluppuram, Tiruvannamalai, Ariyalur, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Ramanathapuram as affected by hydrological drought.

The Revenue and Disaster Management Department, which has analysed the four seasons comprising north east and south west monsoons along with winter and summer seasons, has concluded that 24 districts of the total 32 in TN were adversely affected by drought. Dharmapuri has recorded 59 percent deficit, followed by Krishnagiri with 57 percent. Capital Chennai has recorded a deficit of 55 per cent followed by Karur and Salem recording 53 and 49 percent deficit, the gazette read.

In his note, Misra said that Tamil Nadu is facing severe water shortage to meet its drinking water and irrigation needs. The long term annual average rainfall is 920.9 mm and rainfall received during winter, summer, southwest and northeast monsoon Seasons account for 3, 14, 35 and 48 per cent respectively. The analysis showed that during north east monsoon 2018, 38 blocks in the above districts, recorded “deficient” and “largely deficient” rainfall. As a result, the surface water and ground water resources had depleted leading to drinking water problems and this would aggravate during summer, the gazette notification read.

The overall deficit for the districts ranges from 59 to 19 per cent and the drought mitigation projects will be taken up as per contingency plan, an informed official toldDT Next.

The declaration will help the State avail of Central funds and help the State authorities to work on summer mitigation projects. The State Disaster Management Authority had also reported the issue to the Centre for assistance, the source said. Tamil Nadu Water Supply Board and Chennai Metro water board and local bodies have been asked to work on the summer mitigation projects, the official added. 

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