New Delhi: Rainfall in the country for the current monsoon season would be 93 percent of the long period average, which is below normal, the government told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
In a written reply, Minister of State for Earth Science Jitendra Singh said, "The rainfall for the country as a whole for the current monsoon season is estimated to be 93 per cent of long period average, which is below normal."
"Quantitatively, the seasonal rainfall (June-September) for the country as a whole is likely to be 93 percent of the long period average (LPA) within a range of plus or minus 4 per cent," he said.
"The rainfall deficiencies observed over Northwest India, Central India, South Peninsula and NE India were 55 percent, 61 percent, 37 percent and 26 percent, respectively from respective LPAs.”
"The observed rainfall deficiency during June was caused by delayed arrival of monsoon over Kerala and slow progress subsequently while covering the country," Singh said.
He added that the formation of cyclone "Nanauk" over Arabian Sea during the second week of June has disturbed the monsoon advancement and hence delayed the arrival of monsoon to the central and north India, thus causing deficient monsoon rains in June.
North-West, which covers Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh would get 85 percent of LPA. Northeast India is expected to get 99 percent of the LPA while Central India, which covers Gujarat State, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra is expected to get 94 percent rainfall.
Singh said that the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) is advocating several technologies like use of short duration drought tolerant varieties, in-situ soil moisture conservation and water harvesting measures, mulching, micro irrigation, resource conservation technologies and use of poor quality water to tackle the situation of moisture deficit in agriculture across the country.
"The ICAR has also prepared district level contingent plans for over 500 districts to address seasonal rainfall variability (including drought) impact on agriculture," he said.
According to the minister, as per present assessment, the average annual water availability in the country is about 1869 billion cubic meters (BCM).
"It has been estimated in the year 2009 by Central Water Commission (CWC) that about 450 BCM of surface water is being utilised for various purposes. Further, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has also assessed in 2009 that about 243 BCM of ground water is utilised for various purposes. The rest of the water could be considered to be flowing down to sea.”
"With a view to augment the water resources for utilisation for various purposes, several measures are undertaken by the respective state governments which, inter-alia, include conservation of water resources through reservoir based irrigation and command area canal networks, rejuvenating traditional water bodies, rain water harvesting and accelerated recharge to ground water etc," he said.