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Home News Power Sector News Central Government losing sleep over weak monsoon

Central Government losing sleep over weak monsoon

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Weal MonsoonDelayed monsoon and deficient rains in a major part of the country have sent alarm bells ringing in the Central Government.  Union Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan will discuss the progress of monsoon and deficient rainfall with Meteorological Department officials on Tuesday at Mausam Bhavan in New Delhi.

Sources have told that the Prime Minister's Office is now directly monitoring monsoon’s progress following reports that rainfall from June 1 to 17 was 45 per cent below normal.Prospects of the country facing drought are also rising with little or no rains for more than three weeks after the onset of the monsoons.

Met Department fears El Nino, a weather anomaly that occurs periodically, could completely derail monsoons. Two out of three times, El Nino severely affects the strength of the monsoons.World Meteorological Organisation has also warned that there was a more than 50 per cent chance of El Nino in 2009 - double the normal probability in any other year.

Twenty-eight out of the 36 meteorological sub-divisions in India have recorded deficient or scanty rainfall, as opposed to only four divisions in 2008.Cyclone Aila is also suspected to be one of the causes behind the weak monsoon.But Meteorological Department rubbished reports of drought-like situation.

"There is no monsoon delay in north India. Though there is 50 per cent deficiency in rainfall but it doesn’t mean that there is drought-like situation. If there is rainfall in July it will cover for June deficit. We will issue forecast on June 25,” said Meteorological Department Director BP Yadav.

But the situation is bleak with almost all the major states report a huge deficit in rainfall.

Madhya Pradesh is grappling with a rainfall deficiency of 92 per cent, Chhattisgarh 91 per cent, Marathwada in Maharashtra 82 per cent, Saurashtra in Gujarat 100 per cent, Orissa 43 per cent, Jharkhand 54 per cent, Bihar 81 per cent and Uttar Pradesh is facing a deficit of 85 per cent.

The crucial food producing state of Punjab is deficient by 68 per cent and even Kerala, where rains arrived before time, is experiencing a rain deficit of 35 per cent.In Assam the monsoons officially arrived on May 25 but the state has so far experienced a deficit of 35 per cent.

Moreover, if the rain gods do not smile soon agriculture will be hit in most of the states resulting in food prices going up which will also push up the inflation. If there is a drought Kharif or summer crops are at risk as about 55-60 per cent of these crops are dependent on the rains.

With Indian economy sluggish, a rise in inflation will only slow down recovery.A bad monsoon will not only slow down agricultural growth but even hit power generation and also result in drinking water crisis.

Farmers in Punjab and Bihar are already worried and complaining that their crops are being ruined due to lack of rains."First of all we have no rain and now there is no electricity. The power keeps going out and we have power cuts for more than eight hours," said a farmer in Bihar.

"There is no rainfall and we do not have any other alternative. All the crops are getting destroyed," added another farmer.Poor monsoon will also adversely affect Central Government's plan to guarantee food security to poor families.

Even reservoirs across the country have just 10 per cent of full capacity following a stock taking of 81 key reservoirs accounting for 72 per cent of India s total reservoir stock.Although 58 per cent of the country's net sown area is dependent on the monsoons but with reservoirs not at their full capacity, agriculture in the remaining 42 per cent of the area would also be affected.

Meanwhile, after an anxious wait, monsoon finally arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday after a delay of roughly two weeks.

Source- CNN-IBN


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