Keep tab on monsoon conditions: PM to depts

Concerned over  the deficient monsoon, Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday directed all the Central departments and ministries to coordinate with state governments to meet any eventuality and monitor the situation on a weekly basis.

The PM was told that there is a reduction of around eight million hectare in the crop area sown so far compared to last year indicating the extent to which deficiency in monsoon is hurting the crops.

“While the reduction in area sown in case of rice could be covered over time, area reduction in coarse cereals is likely to persist,” an official release issued after the meeting said.

The release said the Centre has prepared extensive plans to deal with the deficiency in the monsoon in some parts of the country, and added that its  progress so far has not allayed earlier concerns.

“The rainfall deficiency which existed at the end of June has lessened somewhat, but the intensity and spread of rainfall over the next week or so needs to be watched carefully, especially in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.”

Although monsoon has covered all parts of the country by July 15, it is a 22 per cent less than the long period average (LPA).  

Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Saurashtra and Karnataka have till now received low rainfall, while the North East region, North Bihar and North Bengal have received and are likely to receive heavy rainfall.

“The overall figure of 22 per cent deficit can, however, be misleading as the unevenness of distribution and periodicity of rainfall are also factors to be taken into account.”

As regards the 84 major reservoirs in the country, the government said although they are now beginning to be filled, the current year storage was still 61 per cent of last year storage and 78 per cent normal 10-year average storage.


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