In News: Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh are experiencing the worst monsoon season of the century.
- Food and water scarcity are going to be the real issues in the country’s major rice producing states, with a potential to affect India’s kharif produce this year.
- Between June 1 and August 12, the rainfall recorded over Jharkhand was 371.9mm against a normal of 627.6mm, a 41 per cent seasonal deficit. This is the lowest ever rainfall recorded over Jharkhand (June to August) since 1901, the IMD’s rainfall data stated.
- For Uttar Pradesh, too, the picture is grim, as the state has recorded only 251.7mm of the seasonal average of 449.1mm till August 12.
- UP is the most rain deficient Indian state this year and has remained so since the start of the monsoon season.
- In a departure from the norm of overflowing Ganges and flooding, the 2022 monsoon has been anything but normal for Bihar. During the ongoing season, Bihar has recorded 376.5mm versus a normal of 602.6mm, a deficit of 38 per cent, till August 12.
- Overall, the month of July was the driest over the East and Northeast India since 1903; it ended with a 45 per cent rain deficit.
- Since the monsoon onset, Manipur, Tripura and West Bengal remain in the rainfall ‘deficient’ category.
- Only Assam and Meghalaya, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh in the east and northeast India regions have recorded normal rainfall this monsoon season.
So, what are the causes for rain deficit?
- This season, only three low pressure systems developed in the Bay of Bengal, mostly off the coast of Odisha.
- None of these systems impacted Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh or Bihar.
- Thus, one of the two rain-bearing causes remained out of favour for these states.
- In addition, this year, the monsoon trough — an east-west low-pressure area extending from the heat low over Pakistan to head Bay of Bengal – remained to the south of its normal position for majority of the days in July and in August, so far.
- The low pressure systems did not move along Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
- Such unfavourable conditions contributed to high rainfall deficits throughout the season.
- The monsoon trough’s location, oscillation, and duration over a specific location, all directly affect the rainfall activity over the regions exactly to the south of its position.
- That is, when it is located to the south of its normal position, there is active or vigorous rainfall over most parts of central, peninsular India regions. When it shifts to the north of its normal position or lays along the Himalayan foothills, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and the northeastern states benefit.
So, what should farmers do?
- In UP and Jharkhand, the Agriculture Meteorology division has suggested the use of short duration rice varieties and have encouraged cultivation of red gram.
- Farmers have been encouraged to opt for inter-cropping.
National Disaster Management Act, 2005
- The NDM Act was passed by the government of India in 2005 for the efficient management of disasters and other matters connected to it.
- To manage disasters, including preparation of mitigation strategies, capacity-building and more.
- Definition of a “disaster” in Section 2 (d) of the NDM Act states that a disaster means a “catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or manmade causes.
- The Act designates the Ministry of Home Affairs as the nodal ministry for steering the overall national disaster management.
- Institutional Structure: It puts into place a systematic structure of institutions at the national, state and district levels.
- It is tasked with laying down disaster management policies and ensuring timely and effective response mechanisms.
The National Executive Committee (NEC)
- It is constituted under Section 8 of the NDM Act to assist the National Disaster Management Authority in the performance of its functions.
- The NEC is responsible for the preparation of the National Disaster Management Plan for the whole country and to ensure that it is reviewed and updated annually.
The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM)
- It is an institute for training and capacity development programs for managing natural calamities.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)
- It refers to trained professional units that are called upon for specialized response to disasters.
State and District level:
- The Act also provides for state and district level authorities responsible for, among other things, drawing plans for implementation of national plans and preparing local plans.
- State Disaster Management Authority
- District Disaster Management Authority.
- It contains the provisions for financial mechanisms such as the creation of funds for emergency response, National Disaster Response Fund and similar funds at the state and district levels.
- The Act also devotes several sections various civil and criminal liabilities resulting from violation of provisions of the act.
- Under Section 51 of the Act, anyone refusing to comply with orders is liable for punishment with imprisonment up to one year, or fine, or both. In case this refusal leads to death of people, the person liable shall be punished with imprisonment up to two years.
Drought in England
In News: Drought declared in parts of England
- The government of England formally declared parts of England to be in drought on as the country faces a period of prolonged hot and dry weather.
- The prolonged dry conditions, with some areas of the country not receiving significant rainfall all summer, have caused the National Drought Group to declare an official drought.
- This means water rationing may take place across the country.
Source: Indian Express