Drought in India
Drought is a period of time (months or years) during which a part of the land has a shortage of rain, causing severe damage to the soil, crops, animals, and people.
It sometimes causes even death. During drought high temperature is experienced and such conditions may affect our health. The primary cause of drought is a deficiency of rainfall and in particular, the timing, distribution, and intensity.
In India, around 68 percent of the country is prone to drought. Of the entire area, 35 percent receives rainfalls between 750 mm and 1,125 mm which is considered drought-prone while 33 percent of areas that receive rainfalls less than 750 mm is considered to be chronically drought-prone.
The five states that are most vulnerable to droughts are Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Bihar. Coincidently these states are also vulnerable to cyclones, floods.
Drought management in India
Drought management in India involves Monitoring and Early warning system, Drought Declaration, and Providing Drought relief. The development of such a system involves coordinated efforts from State governments, Union governments, farmers, and Scientific institutions.
The Union Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for monitoring and managing drought conditions.
Monitoring and Early Warning System
As all the states in India are drought-prone, setting up a drought monitoring and management system is very important. This Monitoring system provides an integrated approach to the management of drought.
The Monitoring system will cover all aspects of drought such as early warning, forecasting, response, and mitigation.
IMD (India Meteorological Department)
This agency provides early warnings and forecasts for droughts. IMD forecasts droughts on the basis of:
- Long range forecasts of seasonal total rainfall of entire country
- rainfall summaries are compilled weekly based on precipitation at district level
Agriculture Meteorology Division
This is the specialized division of IMD based in Pune that has a wide network of agro-meteorological observatories that provides different types of data on agro-meteorological parameters.
- Rainwater harvesting should be followed.
- Sewage water should be recycled and used for domestic purposes.
- Building canals or redirecting rivers for irrigation.
- Utilize water economically.
- In case of overheating, immediately move to a shady area.
- Consume adequate amounts of water stay.
- Wear cotton clothing and a hat.
- If anyone faints after sunstroke, emergency medical measures should be taken.
- Contact local government agencies to receive information about disaster and assistance for the population.
Drought prone areas in India
Out of India’s total geographic area, almost one-sixth is drought-prone, that is 16% of the total land. This affects almost 12-15% of the total population every year. But more than 40% of India on the process of getting drought and 68% of the country is prone to drought.
Rajasthan is the most affected and drought-prone area in India. Other most drought-prone areas in India are:
- Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu.
- Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.
- Saurashtra and Kutch regions in Gujarat.
- Mirzapur plateau and Palamu regions in Uttar Pradesh.
- Purulia district, West Bengal.
- Kalahandi region, Orissa.
Below is region-wise drought-prone areas:
- Jammu and Kashmir – Ladakh
- Himachal Pradesh – Lahaul and Spiti
- Punjab – South west, Malwa
- Haryana – South west
- Uttarakhand – Kumaon
- Uttar Pradesh – Bundelkhand
- Rajasthan – Marwar, parts of Mewar
- Gujarat – Kachchh, north Kathiwar
- Madhya Pradesh – Malwa,
- Maharashtra – leeward side of Western Ghats
- Karnataka – North east
- Tamil Nadu – central districts on leeward side of Anamalai Range
- Andhra Pradesh – Rayalseema, south Telengana
- Chattisgarh – North, Bastar
- Orissa – western interior districts eg Kalahandi
- Jharkhand – east Singhbhum, Palamau
- West Bengal – Purulia
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