Low pressure in the bay brightens the prospects on farm, power fronts

Torrential rains triggered by a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal and a trough of upper air cyclonic circulation across Coastal Andhra and Telangana regions has altered the otherwise grim situation on the agriculture and power fronts.

The monsoon that played truant for long, turned active on Friday night causing heavy downpour in nearly 50 places. Himayatsagar area on the outskirts of Hyderabad received 18 cm of rain, the highest recorded on a single day in recent years, while Palakonda in Srikakulam district recorded 12 cm.

Eleven people were killed in wall-collapses, nine of them in Hyderabad, besides five schoolchildren were injured in rain-related incidents like electrical short circuit in Chittoor district. Several low-lying areas in the State were inundated.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who made an impromptu visit to the affected areas in Hyderabad, placed the Collectors of vulnerable districts on alert as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that the rains would continue for two more days with heavy downpour in north Coastal Andhra.

The demand for electricity plummeted from 255 mu to 220 mu, providing a big relief to AP Transco and other power utilities. A significant improvement in groundwater table that fell all over the State causing water shortage is also expected.

Sowing

Agriculture operations that remained sluggish, will now pick up as the rainfall was evenly distributed in Telangana and Coastal Andhra, with many places recording 5 to 10 cm, though it was scanty in Rayalaseema.

Sowing of crop will reach the normal area of 36.80 lakh hectares against 30.68 lakh hectares till July 18. If the rains continue, sowings may reach 80.29 lakh ha for the entire season.

C. Muralidhar, engineer-in-chief, Irrigation, said major reservoirs like Srisailam did not receive any inflows so far. But, they were poised to get 7 tmc ft in two days as there was rain in the local catchment area of the Krishna. An inflow of 45,000 cusecs was reaching the Godavari at Rajahmundry.