The estimate of the monsoon rainfall is less than average during the current year. Quantitatively, monsoon season rainfall for the country as a whole so far till 3 August 2012 has been only to the extent of 81% of its long period average (deficit by 19%). The actual rainfall for the country as a whole received during 1 June to 2 August 2012 has been 378.8 mm as against the average of 471.4 mm. 19 out of 35 states/union territories received less than the average rainfall till the end of July 2012.
The deficiency to certain extent is attributed to the delayed onset and advance of monsoon over various parts of the country (in a range of 1-2 weeks). The lower frequency of the formation of principal rain bearing cyclonic weather systems (lows and depressions) over the Indian seas of Bay of Bengal and Arabian Seas during the current season (as against the average frequency of about 6-7, only one low pressure area formed so far) is seen to be the main contributing factor for the deficit rainfall distribution observed over the country. Detailed study on the above seasonal scale monsoon circulation anomalies and associated characteristics are monitored closely to examine their impacts on the ensuing rainfall during the months of August and September, 2012.
The sowing of all the kharif crops has affected in different States due to the delay in onset of monsoon rains and deficit rainfall received so far during this kharif season leading to the reduction in quantum of sowing by
i) 18.3 lakh ha than last year in respect of rice owing to much lesser coverage in Haryana, West Bengal, Orissa, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand etc.
ii) 34.4 lakh ha in respect of coarse cereals due to lesser sowing in Rajashtan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat etc. and
iii) 13.6 lakh ha in respect of pulses due to decline in acreage in Rajashtan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka etc.
Some area of coarse cereals, jowar, bajra and groundnut are likely to remain unsown in Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Rajasthan and Karnataka.
At the middle of the monsoon season and with 19% deficient rainfall for the country as a whole and some of the sub divisions having deficiency of 40 to 59% or more, the contingency plans are implemented focusing on fodder production, short duration pulses and conservation of moisture for early planting of rabi crops like toria, sorghum and gram etc.
Augmentation of ground water on availability is the only viable option that increases the cost of production for rice over high rainfall deficit regions of Punjab, Haryana and West Uttar Pradesh, where more than 95% of the area is irrigated from the reservoirs where the water levels are significantly low, is likely to be met either from extra allocated power by the Central Government (1000MW allocated) for operating bore wells water lifting devices or through diesel subsidy extended already.
In addition, for the augmentation of the drinking water scheme, the Government of India had already approved assistance of Rs. 424 crore to four most stressed states viz. Karnataka – Rs. 71 crore; Haryana – Rs. 25 crore; Maharashtra – Rs. 200 crore; Rajasthan – Rs. 158 crore. Additionally, a sum of Rs. 38 crore is approved for 3-states viz. Karnataka – Rs. 12 crore; Maharashtra – Rs. 15 crore; Rajasthan – Rs. 11 crore, to deal with the calamity from the National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) for augmenting habitation level safe drinking water supplies.
The above information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Planning, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Ashwani Kumar in a written reply in the Lok Sabha