Rain V/s Navratri 2017 | AHMEDABAD/VADODARA

Fear not, Navratri revellers. It is unlikely that you will have to perform garba in your raincoat. Or, that's what the Met department says. With Mumbai receiving incessant rains for the past two days, Amdavadis feared that rains might dampen their enthusiasm for Navratri which begins on September 21. The met department, however, has predicted that Gujarat is less likely to receive heavy rainfall in the coming week. Jayanta Sarkar, Director of IMD (Ahmedabad) said, "There is cyclonic circulation over North Maharashtra and South Gujarat region. So heavy rainfall was expected on September 20 in South Gujarat and isolated places across the region. Light to moderate rain can be expected in the coming week. But it is less likely that it will rain this week because there is no system across the region. It may drizzle a bit, but continuous rainfall is not likely."

AHMEDABAD/VADODARA: As weather predictions indicate light rainfall in the city during Navratri, leading garba organizers and event managers in Ahmedabad are beginning to opt for insurance policies, fearing damage and losses. Recently , when rains lashed Vadodara on Sunday , major garba venues suffered damages. Similarly , last year, some five days of rain stripped the sheen off Navratri, resulting in losses worth Rs100 crore for the industry . Fearing a repeat of last year's situation, organizers are taking damage control measures, well in advance.

"Sponsorships have been slow in the past few years and therefore, organizers bear the major part of the expenses from their own pockets.Last year, rain caused huge losses and thus, we are opting for insurance," said Hardik Thakkar, who organizes the garba at YMCA Club.

Insurance companies offer policies for events such 2 DAY as garba or even cricket matches. "Usually , there is a cover available for inci dents such as fire, rain or even rioting. The premium is usually around 1per cent of the sum insured, and expenses that cannot be recovered such as venue rent, equipment damage and other costs, are usually reimbur sed," said Soumya Mukherjee, general manager, Oriental Insurance Company . Organizers of United Way of Baroda a popular garba venue in Vadoda ra, are also working overtime to ensure that rains don't play a spoilsport during the ninenight revelry . "We are keeping the grounds clear of water. Also, we have purchased a substantial insurance cover against accidents and rains," said Shivinder Singh Chawla, chairman, United Way of Baroda.

Considering weather conditions, organizers are also making arrangements to ensure their events are not affected by minor spells of rain. "We are organizing garba at four venues in Gujarat including two in Ahemdabad. Last year, rain spelled havoc on events, and therefore, we've got ourselves insured," said Manoj Chaudhary , a city-based garba organi zer. "That apart, we've made necessary arrangements to protect sound systems and the stage so even if there is a light drizzle, people can enjoy rain garba," he added.

Many garba organizers incurred heavy losses last year and stayed away this year."Sponsorships are down and the budgets have continued to shrink for the past five years.Besides, there is forecast for rain," said Meghal Shah, who used to organize garba near Sola Crossroads.

"Even if it rains during the day , the ground gets so soggy and full of muck and the turnout gets low," Shah said.

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