Overcast skies and light rain throughout the day, accompanied by thunder and lightning, have been predicted over Pune and most parts of Madhya Maharashtra, Konkan and Marathwada regions on Monday, the day of the state Assembly elections.
“During Monday afternoon, there are chances of thunderstorms accompanied by lightning. The rainfall will be light throughout the day and intense in nature… during a short span of time… it will be accompanied by gusty winds,” said Anupam Kashyapi, head of the weather department at India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune.
The rainfall recorded between 8.30 am and 8.30 pm on Sunday in Pune city was 12.9 mm. The rainfall recorded over Pune city during the 24-hour period ending 8.30 am on Sunday stood at 38 mm.
In Parbhani, the rainfall in the same 24-hour period was 96 mm, making it the district’s wettest October day in a decade. This was in complete contrast to the situation in October last year, when the entire month saw no rain.
Satara also recorded the heaviest 24-hour spell for the first time since 2009, as rain continued over Mahabaleshwar, Wai and neighbouring areas throughout Saturday and Sunday.
The 24-hour rainfall recorded in Satara was 89 mm. Similarly,Kolhapur, which recorded 46.4 mm rainfall, experienced its wettest October day in the last 10 years. In August this year, heavy rain had led to floods in Kolhapur, displacing thousands and causing property loss worth hundreds of crores.
A low-pressure area, which has been causing widespread rain during the last three days mainly over Konkan, Madhya Maharashtra and Marathwada sub-divisions, persisted for the third consecutive day over Lakshadweep area.
“A trough now runs between this low-pressure area and Vidarbha, which has heightened chances of rainfall and thunderstorm activity over Maharashtra. The activity will continue for the next three to four days,” stated the IMD forecast.
The Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai, has placed Pune, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Aurangabad, Raigad, Sindhudurg, and Ratnagiri districts under the warning of rain, thunderstorm and lightning. The rainfall is set to continue over Pune, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Sangli, Satara and Kolhapur districts till Wednesday.
With the post-monsoon rainfall likely to continue in the week ahead, chances of cloudy skies and light rain during
the upcoming Diwali festivities are high.
EC tells voters: Ignore rain, exercise your franchise
By Express News Service
As the meteorological department forecast light rain with thunderstorm on Monday, the day the state goes to polls, the Pune district administration appealed to local residents, saying they should not let inclement weather hinder them from exercising their democratic responsibility. Officials said they have taken all possible efforts to ensure that there is no waterlogging or leakages in the polling booth premises.
There are a total of 77.29 lakh voters in Pune district, which has 21 constituencies, of which 11 are in urban areas (Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad) and 10 are in rural parts of the district. Of the total voters, 40.42 lakh are men and 36.86 lakh are women, while 243 belong to the third gender.
In Pune district, there are a total of 67,279 voters who are differently-abled, 1,780 non-resident Indians and 5,705 service voters who will register their vote by post.
Of the 21 constituencies, Hadapsar has the highest number of voters (5.04 lakh) while Ambegaon has the lowest (2.83 lakh).
“Considering the forecast by the IMD, we have reviewed the preparations at the polling booths. All the EVMs and VVPATs have been secured from the water. All the polling booths are leak-proof and in some cases, where it was noticed that the approach road was getting flooded, gravel has been applied,” said Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram.
There are 7,915 polling stations in the district, of which 252 are critical and three are ‘sensitive’ polling stations. As many as 7,781 polling stations are on the ground floor, of which 877 were shifted to the ground floor after the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year, when differently-abled voters complained about inadequate facilities to help them vote.
According to officials, the administration has taken efforts to increase the voter turnout in areas where low voter turnout, sometimes lower than 30 per cent, was registered.
“There are 98 such centres in the district, of which 89 are located in urban parts of the district and nine are in rural areas. We opened a call centre at the collectorate to reach out to people in these areas. About 8,000 calls were made by our executives till Saturday night, urging people in these areas to come out and vote,” said Ram.
In Pimpri-Chinchwad, there are three constituencies, Bhosari, Chinchwad and Pimpri reserved constituency.
Chinchwad has the highest voter count of 5,18,309, followed by Bhosari at 4,41,135 and Pimpri at 3,53,545. Collectively, there are 41 candidates in the three constituencies and 13 lakh voters. The EC has declared 37 polling centres as sensitive.