New Delhi: A flood alert may have been issued on Monday for the foothills of the Himalayas, but the MeT office has said that the monsoon deficit is likely to worsen and hit the Kharif crop in the coming days, especially in parts of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
As of now, the overall rainfall deficiency is at 10 per cent in the country. The MeT department has projected 16 per cent deficiency in the remaining two months of the four-month season, that is, in August and September.
"The rainfall shortage is about 10 per cent as of now. The deficit is expected to widen further to 12 per cent by the end of the season," said Laxman Singh Rathore, Director-General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
There is a forecast for a huge rainfall deficiency in some pockets of the country. Even though Bihar and eastern UP would receive heavy rains in the next four days, the dry spell is expected to continue after that, he said.
As per IMD data, there is 48 per cent rainfall deficiency in Marathwada in Maharasthra, 45 per cent in north interior parts of Karnataka, 36 per cent shortage each in eastern UP and in Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh, 33 per cent in central Maharasthra and 23 per cent in Telangana.
The government had last week announced a relief package of Rs 300 crore to provide diesel and seed subsidy, among others, to farmers with a view to saving standing kharif crops in the eventuality of drought and deficit rainfall.
Such measures are for helping the farmers in rainfall- deficit areas of Marathwada, Rayalseema, north-interior Karnataka and Bihar and eastern UP.
Sowing for kharif crops like pulses and oilseeds has remained robust on the back of improved rains in June and some good spells in July. However, the monsoon's performance in August-September would be crucial for this year's kharif output.
As per the official data, kharif crops have been sown in 890.82 lakh hectares till August 14 of the season, as against 863.61 lakh hectares in the year-ago period.