Drought threat looms over Bihar

Scanty rainfall has raised fears of the spectre of drought looming large over Bihar.

Over the years, the normal rainfall in Patna between June 1 and June 30 has been 117 mm, but this June, it’s just 26.2 mm, a deficit of 78 per cent.

Now sample this: In Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s hometown Nalanda, the normal rainfall is 115.1 mm, but in 2012, so far the actual rainfall recorded is only 19 mm, a shortage of 83 per cent. No different is the case of Bhojpur district in Central Bihar, which has recorded only 33 mm rainfall till now, against normal rainfall of 117 mm between June 1 and June 30.

“The monsoon has weakened over the state of Bihar due to no trough line passing over the State. But it may be revived in the next couple of days following development of cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal,” said C D Guta, director of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Patna.

Some areas in the state have recorded satisfactory rainfall. Muzaffarpur in North Bihar has received 94 mm against the normal 113.7 mm. Bhagalpur in eastern Bihar recorded 110.5 mm rainfall in June as against the normal 99 mm rainfall.

“Overall, Bihar has so far received 88.9 mm rainfall against the normal rainfall of 150.2 mm, thereby marking a rain deficit of 41 per cent. But still, there is no reason to ring the alarm bell,” said the Indian Meteorological Department official.

Scientists at Rajendra Agriculture University (RAU), Pusa, also argued that there was no immediate threat to kharif crops like maize, vegetable and oilseeds production.

“If monsoon fails the State by July 10, the situation may then turn alarming,” a scientist said.

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