Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Jul 17, 2004
Climate & Weather
Industry & Economy - Climate & Weather
Monsoon scene mixed, not as bad as 2002
New Delhi , July 16
IT'S probably still early to write off this year's monsoon.
The latest information on cumulative rainfall received till July 14 from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) suggests that the monsoon has been relatively good in much of the South and Eastern parts of the country, stretching from East Uttar Pradesh down to Chhattisgarh and Orissa and covering the whole of Bihar, West Bengal and the North-East.
But the situation is bad in a large chunk of Central, West and North-West India (excluding Jammu & Kashmir).
The overall picture that emerges is, therefore, somewhat mixed, unlike in 2002 when it was uniformly bad.
In fact, according to the IMD, out of 510 districts for which data has been compiled till July 14, rainfall during the current monsoon (beginning June 1) has been deficient or scanty in 252, i.e. around 49 per cent.
In 138 districts (27 per cent), the monsoon has been "normal" (i.e. actual rainfall ranging from 80 to 120 per cent of the corresponding long period average or LPA), while the remaining 120 (24 per cent) have recorded "excess" rains (i.e. precipitation above 120 per cent of LPA).
Contrast this to the position in 2002, when, for the corresponding period, 79 per cent of the districts registered deficient-to-scanty rainfall, and the proportion of normal and excess districts amounted to a mere 21 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
Clearly then, there is no countrywide drought developing this year similar to the kind seen in 2002.
Of course, things are bad when seen against last year, when during this period, only 28 per cent of the districts had deficient-to-scanty rainfall while the monsoon was normal in 41 per cent and excess in the remaining 31 per cent.
The country, as a whole, has received an area-weighted rainfall of 263.9 mm from June 1 to July 14 this year, which is 9.56 per cent below the LPA of 291.8 mm.
The rainfall has been normal in 15 of the country's 36 meteorological sub-divisions and excess in another five.
It has been deficient in the remaining 16 sub-divisions, which account for about 42 per cent of the country's total area.
If one looks at the picture on a monthly basis, it emerges that during June, the actual rainfall received was only 1.85 per cent below the LPA.
But in the current month, the overall deficiency has been to the extent of minus 19.27 per cent.
If one makes a further sub-division between the period from June 1 to June 23 and the subsequent period till July 14, the first part recorded excess rainfall to the tune of 21.16 per cent whereas the latter part witnessed a deficiency of 27.80 per cent.
Simply put, it is the last three weeks that have really caused all the current problems.
At the same time, it can be seen that the monsoon has fared well in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh (barring Telangana), Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, West Bengal and the entire North-East. But in Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Marathwada, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh, the rains have played truant, which is likely to lead to substantial crop damage.
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