The state is wit­ness­ing the on­set of what may be the worst drought in decades

India Today - - STATE - By Jeemon Jacob

God’s own coun­try’ may well be headed for its dri­est spell in decades. Bright sunny days and chilly nights through the win­ter after an ex­tremely weak mon­soon across Ker­ala in 2016 have all the mak­ings of a se­vere drought. Farm­ers and plan­ta­tion own­ers, in­deed even the lo­cal pop­u­lace, ev­ery­one’s brac­ing for the pre­dicted calamity.

Ac­knowl­edg­ing the cri­sis after the me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal cen­tre at Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram is­sued a warn­ing based on south­west mon­soon rain­fall data for 2016, the Pi­narayi Vi­jayan gov­ern­ment has set up a cen­tralised war room after declar­ing all 14 dis­tricts as ‘drought af­fected’.

S. Sude­van, di­rec­tor of the Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram met cen­tre, says the sit­u­a­tion is turn­ing crit­i­cal. Ac­cord­ing to him, 2016 saw a mere 103

36 PER CENT Wa­ter lev­els in Ker­ala’s dams now, com­pared to 62% in Jan ’16

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