Mumbai Monsoon: Still Unwilling To Pour & Water Cuts!


The heavy showers in Mumbai city and some adjacent area in the first week of July seemed to indicate that the monsoon finally caught the rhythm and we hoped that rains would be regular for the rest of the season. But no, the inexplicable unwillingness to pour showed up again from mid-July, particularly in areas of Thane district. The skies, as in the month of June, remained mostly gloomy with floating clouds contributing to the uncomfortable humidity. Even though the temperatures were below 33 degree Celsius the real feel with 80—90% humidity was around 38 degree! At times, the skies blackened hopefully with occasional soothing sounds of thunder, but mostly it petered out without pouring. There were, of course, a few incidents of showers, but not up to the desired intensity and consistency. And now, the obvious happened! Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced a 20% water cut from 5th August, valid not only for Mumbai city but also for parts of Thane and Bhiwandi.

Very heavy showers in Mumbai city in early part of July, leading to water-logging on several occasions, ensured the overflowing of only Tulsi lake which is situated within the city limits, but the remaining six major water supplying lakes were much below the overflowing mark. Taking all the seven lakes into consideration the water level is only 34% of the overflowing capacity at this moment while it was 85% this time in 2019 and 83% in 2018. The BMC said that although Mumbai city received heavy showers in the first half of July the rains were not at all sufficient in the catchment areas around Thane and Bhiwandi. As has often been seen in the past deficient monsoon in catchment areas eventually leads to severe water shortage from October onward. The BMC assured that with the expected rainfall during August the cuts will be eased out gradually.

This month is our only hope for the monsoon to pour in these areas, because from September the South West Monsoon normally starts withdrawing from Maharashtra. There were water shortages and cuts in the past, no doubt; but in all of my years in Mumbai I have never seen such unwillingness on the part of the monsoon to pour and its adamant defiance of the weather forecasts on almost a daily basis This has been witnessed from mid-May till now. Tired of watching the skies for possible rains we often check the weather on our mobile screens, and lo! So often we behold ‘thundershowers’ in full flow on the screens with the special lightening effects. But, unfortunately, nothing of that sort happens in reality, with the sky looking as gloomy as ever and the humid heat seeping into us. Yes, Mother Nature has been angry with humankind since a long time, and has demonstrated her wrath through the unending saga of COVID-19 forcing governments take unprecedented measures and poor humans hide at home. We hope fervently Mother Nature take mercy on us forgiving our sins, and pour Her blessings on us in near future. Meanwhile, humankind must learn to be grateful, moderate and reciprocating. 

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