Monsoon ends heat wave in North India

There was much cheer in Delhi and across northern India as the monsoon finally arrived on Wednesday, bringing down the temperatures sharply. The citizens had been going through a torrid time during the severe heat wave that swept the region for days.

Power utilities too heaved a sigh of relief as demand dropped and supply is also set to increase, with enhanced flow in hydroelectric reservoirs. Delhi citizens had been protesting about power outages, but on Wednesday the entire demand was met, with few breakdowns.

Director-general of the India Meteorological Department Ajit Tyagi said the system had covered almost every other part of north India. ''The monsoon has now covered almost 95 per cent of the country. Only some pockets are still to be covered,'' he said.

Asked about the prospects for the coming days, he said the monsoon would remain active across the country at least for the next one week, although its intensity would vary from region to region.

''Weather prediction models have predicted that the rainfall, for the country as a whole, for July would be 93 per cent of the long period average for the month, and for August, it would [be] 100 per cent of the LPA for that month. We are confident that the forecast would come true and the rainfall deficit that had built up so far would be wiped out,'' Tyagi said.

In Chandigarh, meteorological department officials said the southwest monsoon is advancing actively into Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Local IMD director Chatar Singh said the northern limit of the monsoon had widened since Tuesday to include parts of Rajasthan and the entire Punjab and Haryana.