Conditions are favourable for the commencement of the North East monsoon in 48 hours, according to the Meteorological Department. And the imminent monsoon has intensified a sense of unpreparedness. Incomplete stormwater drain networks and a lack of measures to combat monsoonal diseases are among concerns raised by residents.

On Sunday, satellite imagery showed convective clouds rising over coastal Tamil Nadu. And with 71 per cent of the rain gauge observatories in Tamil Nadu registering rainfall on Sunday, the Meteorological Department had reasons to conclude that NE monsoon is at the door.

“There has been plenty of rain today [Sunday]. Over 71 per cent of 285 stations in Tamil Nadu have registered rainfall today,” said Y.E.A. Raj, Deputy Director-General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai. By 8.30 p.m. on Sunday, Nungambakkam recorded 16.6 mm of rainfall and Meenambakkam, 5 mm.

The India Meteorological Department would also factor in the rains in Andhra Pradesh before making an announcement about the onset of the monsoon, likely on Monday.

“This year, we do not have a clear dry spell separating the withdrawal of the South West monsoon and the onset of the North East monsoon,” said Dr.Raj. This year, the monsoon is expected to bring significant amount of the 140 mm of rainfall received annually in Chennai. As usual, the city is bracing for the monsoon. Various parts of Chennai are not equipped to cope it. Officials say most of the drains within the old city limits remain clogged. In most parts of the new zones, stormwater drains are yet to be installed. If the monsoon produces plentiful rain, a slew of ongoing road works under the Mega City Development Mission will be considerably delayed.

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