Met predicts below normal monsoon
For the second consequent year, the southwest monsoon is expected to be below normal, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) today foresaw as it blamed the El Nino phenomenon for the low forecast.
Key growing areas of the northwest (Punjab, Haryana and western UP) and central India are likely to be affected the most.
Vardhan said: “There is a 35% probability of monsoon remaining below normal and 33% of it being deficient. Only 28% chances are that the June-September season will witness normal rains, just 3% that it will be above normal and only 1% that it will be excess.
Though farming lotss in Haryana, Punjab and western UP are well irrigated and farmers in this region will be able to manage another bad monsoon.
Monsoon accounts for over 70% of India’s yearly rainfall. A shortfall influences not just the crops, but also has a pouring effect on a host of sectors. The below regular monsoon prediction adds to the concerns of the government as it attempts to kick-start the economy while keeping hike in check. Poor rains would also leave groundwater table devastated.
Vardhan said the Cabinet Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office have been told about the forecast so that they can gear up for the future opportunities. The minister, however, did not respond to whether the country was likely to face any “drought-like” situation.