District disaster management



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2.3 PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Physiography:

Amritsar district lies amidst River Beas (to the east) separating Amritsar from Kapurthala and River Ravi (to the west). It is located in the lower part of Upper Bari Doab Canal giving it a saucer like shape. It is interesting to note that river Beas joins Satluj River at the confluence of Ferozepur, Tarn Taran and Kapurthala districts. As Punjab Plain is a part of Indo-Gangetic system, Amritsar also has alluvial deposits brought by Beas and Ravi Rivers. The soil in Amritsar is a light reddish-yellow loam (colloquially called maira) that becomes somewhat stiffer at the Doab, finally deteriorating into sandy and slightly uneven soil (colloquially called tibba).


Amritsar has a levelled plain area situated at an elevation of about 200 meters in the North East to about 175 meters in the South West. The terrain of Amritsar can be put under three categories: The Upland Plain, Bluff along the Beas and Floodplain of Satluj.

The Physiography of Amritsar district is the product of alleviation by the Beas and Ravi rivers. There are no hills within the limits of the district and nothing of the nature of work or stone is to be met. The formation is strictly alluvial though apparently of a uniform level, the country falls away to the west from the high right bank of the Beas to the left bank of Ravi and there is also a gentle slope of perhaps one feet and a quarter in a kilometer down the doab which slightly broaden out as the two rivers diverge after rising from the hills along Gurdaspur. The district is devoid of impressive natural features except the dhaya as the cliffs forming the right bank of the Beas are called the sandy ridge running down the doab, the scarcely perceptible drainage lives which carry off the surface water and the perennial stream known as the Sakki.

However, an interfluvial tract likes that of Amritsar district cannot be homogeneous throughout, as the terrain of the flood plains must differ from that of the upland plains situated away from the rivers. Indeed one can distinguish the following terrain units in the district on close observation. Amritsar district has two major landforms viz. alluvial plain and flood plain.

(i) Alluvial Plains: Alluvial plain constitute the major part of the district. This unit is formed by the alluvial deposits brought by Ravi and other rivers of Indus system. The alluvial plain along the Beas river is dissected by the back erosion and there is a chain of gullies or ravines along the river Beas. The upland plain spreads almost the whole district, except the western half of Ajnala tahsil, the eastern margins of Baba Bakala. This plain abruptly rises above the Beas river in the east and slopes very gently towards the Ravi. It possesses a firm base of alluvium and has an appearance of a vast stretch of level land. There are a few sporadically distributed sand mounds and clay mounds, with a local land relief of only 2 to 6 meters. Amritsar has an elevation of 192 meters above the main sea level.

(ii) The flood plain of Ravi and Beas: The flood plain of Ravi and Beas rivers is the other landform in the district. The flood plain of Ravi occupies the western half of Ajnala tahsil and accounts for about 7 per cent of the total area of the district. It is locally known as the sea Bet Ravi. It stretches between the Ravi to the west and its tributary Sakki Nala to the east. The Ravi flood plain is low lying and waterlogged tract due to flooding by both the Ravi and Sakki. Its surface configuration is uneven and, at places, it contains abandoned courses of the river, patches of marshy land and thickly growing grass. In contrast to Ravi, which makes a wide floodplain, the Beas does not form any such feather along its course in the Baba Bakala of the district. The origin of this bluff can be ascribed probably to a tectonic uplift which affected the whole of the Indus- Yamuna divide during the Pleistocene Age.

2.4 CLIMATE
The climate of the area is sub Tropical Monsoon climate. The climate of the area is characterized by general dryness except during the brief south-west monsoon season, a hot summer is a bracing winter. The year may be divided into four seasons. It comprises of the winter season (November to March) when temperatures ranges from 16 °C (61 °F) to about 4 °C (39 °F), the hot season (April to June) when temperatures can reach 45 °C (113 °F), monsoon season (July to September) and post-monsoon (September to November). The lowest recorded temperature since 1970 is −2.6 °C (27 °F) recorded on 21 Jan 2005. The highest temperature recorded was 47.7 °C (117.9 °F) on 21 May 1978.

The climate is generally characterized by dry weather except the brief southwest monsoon season, hot summer and bracing winter. Amritsar receives on an average 601.5 mm of rainfall with around 33 rainy days. The wind direction of Amritsar is from North-West to South-East.



2.5 RAINFALL

Rainfall in Amritsar varies from 12mm to 670mm per month. The average annual rainfall in the district is 520.9 mm. The rainfall in the district increases generally from the South-west towards the north-east and varies from 435.5 mm. About 75% of the rainfall in the district is received during the period from June to September and as much as about 18% rainfall occurs during the priod from December to February.The following table shows the average annual rainfall of Amritsar District:



Table 3: Average Annual Rainfall

Month

Average Rainfall of

year 2005 (in mm)


January

80

February

100

March

90

April

40

May

60

June

180

July

520

August

500

September

210

October

60

November

70

December

400



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