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1987 DROUGHT IN INDIA

Type of Hazard:
Drought: It is a natural disaster of below average precipitation in a
given region, resulting in prolonged shortage in the water supply
whether atmospheric, surface water or ground water. A drought can
last for months or years.
Classification of Droughts:
1) Meteorological drought (rainfall deficiency)
2) Hydrological drought (fall in ground water and waterflow in
rivers)
3) Agricultural drought (crop failure)

Drought Period & Location:


During the summer monsoon season (June-September) of 1987, India
experienced one of its severest droughts.
The deficiency in rainfall was significant over 9 meteorological sub-
divisions out of which 3 were in high rainfall areas (Assam and
Meghalaya, Konkan and Goa, and Arunachal Pradesh).
Major states affected by the drought are:
 Gujarat
 Madhya Pradesh
 Rajasthan
 Tamil Naidu
 Uttar Pradesh

Trigger of Hazard/Origin:
The drought of 1987, caused by the failure of the south-west monsoon
over large parts of India. It was one of the worst droughts in 20th
century.
The south-west monsoon of 1987 set in Kerala in time, that is, 2nd
June, 1987. Its further northward progress was satisfactory upto
middle of June. It was, however, inordinately delayed in the parts of
north-west India and Gujarat and it covered the entire country only by
27th July,1987. Rainfall that year had been erratic and inadequate and
there were long dry spells. By middle of August 1987, as many as 25
out of 35 meteorological sub-divisions received deficient/ scanty
rainfall while only 10 meteorological sub-divisions received
normal/excess rainfall. At the end of monsoon season, by 30th
September 1987, as many as 21 meteorological sub-divisions received
deficient/scanty rainfall, while only 14 meteorological sub-divisions
received normal/excess rainfall.

Fundamental determinants:
 For an appreciation of the severity and the magnitude of the
drought, the failure of 1987 monsoon has to be viewed in the
context of successive monsoon failures prior to 1987.
 The drought of 1987 followed two or in some areas even three
consecutive low rainfall monsoon periods.
 Consequently, the drought of 1987 became severe in the areas
which received deficient rainfall during the successive years
preceding the deficient rainfall of the 1987 monsoon period.
 The period 1985-1987 was unique in the history of monsoon
rainfall as it witnessed successively higher deficits in all-India
rainfall. The percentage departure of rainfall from the normal for
1985, 1986 and 1987 was (-)7 percent, (-)13 percent and (-)19
percent respectively.
 The onset of monsoon in 1986 was delayed by 3 to 4 days over
south peninsula, 6 to 7 days over parts of central India and 10 to
15 days over eastern India.
 Rainfall deficiency in terms of area coverage was worst in 1987(63
percent).
 Similarly, meteorological sub-divisions-wise, 1987 was the most
deficient (21). (figures in parenthesis denote the number of
meteorological sub-divisions receiving deficient/scanty rainfall.)
 29.8 percent and 17.9 percent of total area of country was affected
by moderate and severe droughts in 1987.
Extent of loss:
 It affected more than 85 million people.
 60 percent of the crop area was affected.
 Milk production has fallen sharply.
 It has ruined the Kharif crop and affected the livelihood of
millions of peasants struggling from survival.
 There is a shortfall of 8 percent to 10 percent in cotton production
and about 15 percent to 20 percent in pulses.
 Great Ahasagar lake in Ajmer dried up in drought.
 Outside Jaipur , the Ramgarh lake, the venue of the main rowing
event of the Asiad is almost dry.
 Around 3600 crores of loss was obtained in crop production.

 Loss of mandays due to drought of 1987 is about 1,249 millions.


 Statewise damage due to 1987 drought is given below.
 Nearly 3000 lakh people were affected.
 Around 600 lakh ha cropped area was affected.
 Around 1700 lakh cattle population was affected.

 The mortality rate in normal time is around 10 to 15 percent of the


population and there was no appreciable change in it on account of
drought conditions.

Measures taken:
 The Prime Minister, appreciated the calamitous dimensions of the
creeping disaster, set up a Cabinet Committee on Drought (CCD)
under his leadership, with the objective of ensuring timely and
prompt measures for mitigating the impact of drought. The CCD
was serviced by the Department of Agriculture and Co-operation
(DAC).
 CCD formulated an Action Plan consisting of the following:
i. Preparation of water budgets
ii. Undertaking appropriate contingency measures and supply of
adequate power in the agricultural sector
iii. Effective steps to provide drinking water
iv. Strengthening of the Public Distribution System(PDS)
v. Public health measures and providing supplementary nutrition for
the young and needy children
vi. Measures to provide adequate fodder and nutrients for the health
and preservation of cattle
vii. Employment generation
viii. Drought proofing
ix. Soil conservation and water harvesting works
x. Laying of roads where roads links did not exist
xi. Steps to prevent overdrawal of groundwater around under
agglomerations
 A massive information campaign was mounted by All India
Radio(AIR), Doordarshan(DD), Press Information Bureau(PIB),
Directorate of Audio-Visual Publicity(DAVP) and Directorate of
Field Publicity(DFP), of the Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting(MIB) in the different parts of country to create
public awareness about the drought and various relief measures
undertaken by GOI.
SUMMARY

 The drought of 1987, caused by the failure of the south-west


monsoon over large parts of India. It was one of the worst
droughts in 20th century.

 The drought of 1987 followed two or in some areas even three


consecutive low rainfall monsoon periods.

 The deficiency in rainfall was significant over 9 meteorological


sub-divisions out of which 3 were in high rainfall areas (Assam
and Meghalaya, Konkan and Goa, and Arunachal Pradesh).

 Nearly 3000 lakh people were affected.

 Around 600 lakh ha cropped area was affected.

 Around 1700 lakh cattle population was affected.

 Milk production has fallen sharply.

 The Prime Minister, appreciated the calamitous dimensions of


the creeping disaster, set up a Cabinet Committee on Drought
(CCD) under his leadership, with the objective of ensuring
timely and prompt measures for mitigating the impact of
drought.
MY VIEW ON DISASTER
India is facing one of its most serious droughts in recent memory.
1987 was the most severe drought in 1987. It was caused due to
failure of south-west monsoon failure. It affected several people and
also the mortality rate of our country. This type of drought may also
occur in future too. We need to get prepared before only. We need to
plant trees and actively participate in the programs conducted by the
Government of India.

REFERENCES
 www.droughtmanagement.info
 www.nytimes.com
 www.indiatoday.com