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Monsoon revives; fears of drought recede

NEW DELHI, AUG 2. Signalling revival of monsoon, widespread rains lashed most parts of North India for the first time today, bringing cheer to farmers and raising hope that the drought-like conditions would come to an end.

Heavy rains continued to lash Mumbai for the second consecutive week, disrupting road and rail traffic and throwing normal life out of gear. Nine persons were injured in rain-related incidents in the city.

Heavy rains pounded Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir since early today, signalling the revival of monsoon and conditions were favourable for more downpours in the region in the next two days, the India Meteorological Department Director, S. C. Bhan, said here.

Chandigarh, where it has been pouring since yesterday, received a record rainfall of 122.5 mm till this morning. During the two-month period from June one to July 31 this year, the city received only 185.3 mm of rain. In Haryana, rains lashed Ambala (12.2 mm), Hisar (10 mm), Kalka (35 mm), Karnal (2 mm), Sonepat, Panipat and Panchkula (10 mm).

``These rains are beneficial for all crops including paddy, maize, sugarcane, cotton, pulses and oilseeds,'' Punjab's Director of Agriculture Ajmer Singh said.

Mr.Bhan said low pressure areas existed over Bay of Bengal and Madhya Pradesh because of which, there would be good rainfall activity in eastern and central India.

While the rains brought cheers to farmers, it caused problems for many others because of water-logging and traffic jams.

The low-lying areas of Chandigarh were water-logged, throwing vehicular traffic completely out of gear in the morning.

Meanwhile, the toll in the roof collapse at a farm house in Bagru town in Rajasthan rose to eight today with the recovery of three more bodies from the debris and one labourer succumbing to injuries at a hospital, a Jaipur report said.

According to a report from Dehra Dun, the entire State of Uttaranchal will continue to experience moderate to heavy showers for another two to three days.

The Director of Metrological Department, Anand Sharma, said this was primarily on account of a low pressure area which had developed over South Uttar Pradesh and adjoining neighbouring States and a cyclonic circulation occuring at a speed of 5.8 km per hour.

A cyclonic storm at a height of 3.6 km from the sea level was being monitored over Uttaranchal and in the adjoining State of Himachal Pradesh. A low wind pressure over West and North bay was also responsible for the rains.

Dehra Dun city also recorded a rain fall of 67.3 mm, Haripur near Dakpathar 67 mm, Uttarkashi 65.6 mm, Chimli Sat 53 mm, Pok 25 mm and Pithoragarh 9 mm of rain fall overight.

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