Heavy rains lash Maharashtra; farmers, politicians smile

Mumbai, June 16 (IANS) Monsoon has got off to a great start in entire Maharashtra this year, bringing cheers to farmers as well as politicians in view of the Lok Sabha elections due in the first half of the next year.

Most parts of the state have received good rainfall in the early days of the 16-week-long monsoon season this year which got underway in the past 10 days.

Not willing to let the nature's bounty go waste, farmers across the state have got down to the business of sowing seeds in farmlands in the past few days.

Last year, the farming community - barring those in Konkan and Vidarbha regions - had borne the brunt of the worst-ever water scarcity experienced in the past 40 years.

According to the data provided by India Meteorological Department (IMD) at Pune, a small coastal tourist resort town of Murud, famous for the Janjira sea fort, notched a staggering 24 cm rain in the past 24 hours, making it the heaviest rainfall in the state.

Other places which received heavy rains included Palghar (16 cm), Mhalsa (15cm), Pen (14), Kinwat (12), Harnai (11), Thane, Roha and Panvel (10 each), Uran, Shrivardhan, Dapoli (9 cm each), Jalna, Matheran (8 each).

In the parched Marathwada region, people cheered as heavy rains soaked most districts in the past few days.

Aurangabad has notched 9.18 cm, Jalna (9.24), Parbhani (6.35), Hingoli (12.8), Nanded (12.10), Beed (6.29) and Osmanabad (5.20) rainfall in the past 24 hours.

The heavy downpour has resulted in several small and medium dams and water reservoirs getting overfull. The flood waters were released from such reservoirs in Jalna and Ratnagiri.

The IMD has forecast more heavy to very heavy rains in the coastal Konkan region and other parts of the state over the next 48 hours.

In the coastal areas, fishermen have been advised not to venture out into the Arabian Sea on account of choppy waters accompanied by gusty winds of up to 50 kmph.

Small towns and villages in Raigad and Ratnagiri districts reported severe water-logging or flooding due to heavy rains. But there were no reports of any damage to property.

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