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Drought in India: Is this is the beginning of the end?
This year, the drought has resulted in the 29 per cent less rainfall, resulting in droughts in 246 districts across the country. The situation is grave, all the more so because the agriculture in India is largely dependent on the monsoon rains.
DROUGHT IN India: Is this the beginning of the end? Even a decade ago this question would have been an exaggeration since drought is not an unknown scenario in India. In fact, the crisis management plan by the Government of India shows zones where drought occurs once in every three years. However, the very nature of the present drought has raised some serious questions.

This year, the drought has resulted in the 29 per cent less rainfall, resulting in droughts in 246 districts in 10 states across the country. The situation is grave, all the more so because the agriculture in India is largely dependent on the monsoon rains. According to reports, the rice production in the country would suffer a 10 million tonne decline. Also, the production of soyabean, cotton, sugar cane would suffer due to this drought.

Few reports regarding the cause of the drought have been really alarming. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change has seen some strong connection between the drought and the global warming. According to the chief of the panel, Rajendra Pachauri, the unusual hot winds have kept the monsoon rain away from a large part of India. And it is the same hot wind that is melting the ice of Himalayas causing flood in Bihar, West Bengal, Bangladesh and Assam.

Now, let’s put on a broader perspective and view this drought situation in the global scenario. A report in The Independent states clearly that an El Nino has started recently. Basically, an El Nino is the phenomenon of warming of the cold Eastern tropical pacific waters. Now the Pacific Ocean acts like the heat reservoir of the world. As it warms up, the global climate will change as well. The meteorologists have estimated that this El Nino would result in severe droughts in India, Africa and Australia. At the same time, it will cause heavy rainfall in South America. In Britain too, the weather would turn extreme due to this change in the climate.

In fact, a similar El Nino had occurred in 1997-98 and was aggravated by the global warming so that 1998 was the hottest year. But the situation has gone worse this time. The dangerous forest fires along the equator have increased the green house gases and now the experts fear that 2010 will be the hottest year so far. In fact, the winter of 2009 and 2010 will be affected. Already, UNESCO has reported that the absence of timely snowfall, which is also the result of the climate change, the rain circulation in Asia has been altered.

This means that there is likely to be more droughts, even if not in India but in different parts of the world. This in turn will result in the severe crisis of food, water, power – the basic needs for our living and that leads us to another grimmer aspect of our future. A US report has recently estimated that in the next decade, the severe crisis of water and food would make the world a tough place to live. Countries will be at war to grab these resources.

So, anybody out there who still thinks that global warming is a myth, here is the time to reconsider. For, it is too grim a fact, a phenomenon that has already taken its ominous steps to make us gasping for our lives.

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