Heavy rain lashes city, brings smiles

Ujjain : The end of recent dry spell was marked by heavy rain which provided respite to residents from the hot and humid conditions prevailing for the last few weeks. The city and its surrounding areas received 47.4 mm or 1.86 inches of rainfall on Thursday, resulting in the flooding of roads. Water and power supply were also affected.

Starting at around 2.45 pm, the downpour inundated city roads and vehicles of denizens were stranded in rainwater, especially near roundabouts that had turned into islands. Water logging exposed the claims of the Ujjain Municipal Corporation (UMC) as road and streets remained blocked. The truth about the efficiency of the city’s underground drainage system was washed away as the monsoon unleashed its fury on the city and its vicinity yet again within two hours, inundating virtually the entire city. Roads turned into rivulets and several open spaces and parking lots appeared to be small lakes, as normal life was thrown out of gear.

In fact, the city’s drainage system spilled its guts out pointing out that problem of flooding is the result of old drainage points being covered up while widening or repairing of roads and parking lots. The issue of provision of rain water drainage needs to be clinched immediately. Silt and dirt dumped around the pavements or open spaces also flows on to the gullies and gutters, blocking them. While the day began by being partly cloudy, the skies became heavily overcast during afternoon, resulting in a torrential downpour which lasted about two hours. Light showers and drizzle continued till evening. According to the Jiwajirao government observatory, the maximum temperature recorded today was 33 degrees Celsius, which is about three degrees below normal with minimum at 21.5 degree Celsius.

The heavy rain, which drastically reduced visibility, affected local as well as long-distance traffic, besides damaging some structures and property. Though the rain caused apparent inconvenience to many residents, it also brought a respite from the sultry heat by bringing down humidity levels. Rain water entered the basement of Kshir Sagar, Mahahnanda Nagar, and Rishi Nagar causing hardship to the shopkeepers. Residents of Muni Nagar, Vishnu colony, Gayatri Nagar, Mali pura and were among the worst hit, with residents having to wade through knee-deep water. Basements in the Teen Batti and Freeganj were also flooded. Several colonies and slums have cropped up in low-lying areas of and as a result water flows into these pockets from the surrounding areas. Old city parts including Gopal Mandir, Sati Gate, Kanthal and Teliwada area experienced heavy water logging due to compromised sewerage systems and the density of the area.

Stretches of Dewasgate and MaliPura up to Daulatganj and Fawwara Chok also saw water accumulating, particularly in the vicinity of roundabouts. Even roads within a large number of houses, particularly in the city’s old parts, were inundated, as well open spaces and other low-lying areas. Water also accumulated in parking areas adjoining markets and shopping centres of Tower square. Various colony and slip roads told a sorry tale about the Public Works Departments’ engineering skills. Trenches created by the road cutting machines of Reliance Communication to lay 4-G cables became traps as wheels of vehicles passing over them got bogged down in the in the softened mud covering them.

Water flooding the streets also posed a traffic hazard. Vehicles, including rickshaws and cyclists, preferred to stick to the middle of undivided roads where the water was less than at the edges, adding to the woes of the drivers. Water also collected near Polytechnic College, Bharatpuri, Sanwer Road and Nankaheda Bus stand areas. A large number of vehicle owners were seen wading through the flooded streets, dragging two-wheelers which refused to start. Roadside mechanics did roaring business. Hawkers, rickshaw-pullers and cyclists went off the road, while bus shelters and market corridors were crowded with commuters seeking shelters from the pouring rain. Rain also brought cheer to farmers, with such heavy rains in short span of time the farmer were the most happy in the area. The rain is good for soya bean and paddy crop as the farmers were dependent on groundwater for the transplantation of paddy, which causes underground water depletion and automatically increases the cost of cultivation. Now, the transplantation of rice crop is almost over. But even now it is good as evaporation rate will decrease and rainwater will add up in the groundwater.

2 inches of no use!

While the rain was a mixture of joy and sorrows for farmers and denizens, the city received almost 2 inches of rainfall in less than 3 hours. But the 2 inches is certainly not going to meet the basic seasonal requirement of 36 inches, which too is a 10 years old standard. In last 10 years the city has seen a vast expansion and population has increased manifolds. According to latest data received at Gambhir Dam control room promising rainfall did not occur in the catchment area of dam, ‘There is no significant increase in water level of dam, said Gambhir dam control room in charge. Weathermen have predicted mild showers in the next 24 hours. Weatherman at government Jiwajirao observatory said “There will be no respite from humidity. He said as compared to last year, the city has only received 15 inches of rain this year while the minimum average is 36 inches. The humidity level went up following the rain up to 90 percent.

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