State departments found sleeping

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IFCD, Agriculture failed to provide records of river water levels, rainfall

IMPHAL, April 25: While the people of the state continue to reel under acute scarcity of water, it has been found that the two related departments of the state government have failed to even record the river water levels and rainfall in the state.

In short, the government is ignorant of the scarcity of water in the state.

When asked by the IFP to provide a record of the annual rainfall for the month of April, while stating that the scarcity of water has affected even the first crops of the season, officials of the Agriculture department disclosed that even though the fourth month of the year is about to end, the department has failed to make any records.

The officials had, however, claimed that even though the department collects the records for every month, it has failed to collect any record for the current year.

The department usually collects the data from the Meteorological department located at the airport, however for this year it is yet to be collected, the officials sheepishly admitted.

To collect the data, a staff of the department has to do so with his own transportation, above that the staff has to urge the Meteorological department for the data, they claimed.

However, when asked for the records of the first four months of the previous year, the officials showed the record which reads that in the previous year, January witnessed no rainfall at all even though the normal rainfall for the month is recorded at 16.3 mm, while February witnessed 0.8 mm while normal rainfall for the month is recorded at 36 mm.

Further according to the report, March witnessed a rainfall of only 27.1 mm whereas normal rainfall for the month is marked at 65.6 mm and in April the rainfall was recorded at 91.1 mm despite the normal rainfall for the month stands at 137.8 mm.

Also this year, in between March and April there was little rainfall. Although no record was maintained, the rainfall in April, this year might be around 10 or 11 mm, the officials further claimed.

Even though the department has failed to take up any action regarding the water scarcity problem faced by the farmers as it is the seed sowing season of the first crop, the officials acknoledged that according to a state cabinet decision steps should have been initiated.

In the meantime, when the IFP enquired about the water levels of rivers with the IFCD office located at Khoyathong, the reply was the same as that of the Agriculture department.

It was found that the department has also failed to make any records, of the present water levels of the rivers. On top of that the telephone at the control room of the department was also found defunct.

As there were no records with the department, both the normal and current water levels of the Imphal River, Nambol River, Thoubal River, Iril River, Lilong River could not be ascertained.

At the same time, it was found that the Rain Meter Gauge records maintained by the department placed at various locations could not be obtained till now.

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