After playing truant for three weeks, heavy rain lashed the state, including Central Maharashtra, Marathwada, Konkan and Vidarbha, bringing life to a grinding halt.
After above average rainfall recorded in June, the state witnessed subdued monsoon activity in July. The revival of the monsoon, however, gave a new lease of life to sowing activity across the state.
Incessant rain over the last few days across the state, especially in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts in the Konkan region, disrupted rail services. In Mahad and Chiplun in Raigad districts, all the major rivers including Vaishishti were flowing above the danger mark.
Pune and neighbouring Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur districts received moderate rainfall while parts of Vidarbha witnessed heavy precipitation, the Met sources said.
In Satara, heavy rainfall in Karad taluka submerged the Dhakka bridge at Koyna river, following which as many as 35 villages were cut-off. Karad and neighbouring Mahabaleshwar region too witnessed incessant rainfall since Saturday, the Met sources said.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), “Konkan will witness heavy rainfall in the next two days while rain and thundershowers would lash parts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.”
However, the heavy rainfall helped revive the farming activity across the state, with sowing of rice almost complete in the state. According to agriculture department officials, sowing will continue for the next week if rains continue.
July is normally the crucial month for sowing as it gets more than a third of the seasonal rain. Till two weeks ago, the state had recorded only 9% sowing due to lack of adequate rainfall.
“The current spell of heavy rain has come at a very crucial stage. Any delay further would have affected the sowing activity, which normally should end by July 15, otherwise, farmers will have to opt for alternative crops,” said Ramchandra Sable, head, agriculture and weather department, Mahatma Phule Agriculture University. According to him, the rains are useful for paddy in the Konkan region and other crops in the Vidarbha region and north Maharashtra.
A good rainfall has kept the situation of water availability in dams and lakes across the state under control. The current spell has also led to a sharp increase in the water levels of dams in western Maharashtra, especially in Pune and Satara.