Punjab, Haryana hit by poor rainfall

Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, the country's food bowl, have received deficient to scanty rainfall in most parts this year, Met officials said Sunday.

Despite rains in some areas in both states in the past three days, the overall picture this monsoon season has not been really a happy one.

"Rainfall in Punjab from June 1 indicates the state has received 69.9 mm of rainfall against its normal 154.4 mm, with a deviation of minus 55 percent," a senior Met department official said here.

Punjab received 49.4 mm of rainfall against 101.9 mm, with a deviation of minus 55 percent, in July. Monsoon was to hit the state July 1.

Only Muktsar district in south-west Punjab, affected by water-logging, received normal to excess rain. Other districts got deficient to scanty rainfall, especially in the monsoon month of July.

The agriculturally fertile Malwa belt (south of river Sutlej) was the worst hit.

Barnala (minus 88 percent), Sangrur (minus 85), Mansa (minus 85), Ferozepur (minus 80), Fatehgarh Sahib (minus 76) and Patiala (minus 64) were the worst affected districts.

In the Majha belt (north of river Beas), Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts were rain deficient by minus 79 and 78 per ent respectively this month.

"Latest weather forecast available suggests subdued rainfall activity in Punjab in the next two-three days, with only isolated thundercloud/rain in pockets.

"However, most global models further suggest strengthening of monsoonal systems with some good monsoon rains in central and north India, including Punjab July 23-24. Also, there are indications of better rainfall in subsequent two weeks (July 22-Aug 15)," the Met office said.

"Rainfall in Haryana (in the same period) indicates that state has received 80.7 mm of rainfall against its normal of 141.1 mm, with a deviation of minus 43 percent," the official added.

In Haryana, only Jhajjar, Faridabad and Gurgaon districts have had normal rainfall.

"In the past 24 hours, north-eastern and south eastern Haryana districts received good rainfall," the Met official said.

In July, Haryana has received 49.4 mm of rainfall against the normal of 101.9 mm, a deviation of minus 55 per cent.

Punjab and Haryana contribute nearly 70 percent of foodgrain to the national kitty annually.

Rainfall is very important for farmers in July as sowing of paddy is at its peak and the crop requires a lot of water in the first month.

"Though rainfall is good in this season, there is no cause for alarm as most areas in Punjab have a good network of irrigation canals which can bail out farmers," a senior agriculture department official told IANS.

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