Monsoon Clouds Reach Jammu And Kashmir

Monsoon Clouds Reach Jammu And Kashmir

5 July 2012
The Economic Times


New Delhi: The monsoon revived significantly on Thursday, ending weeks of nervousness as rain-bearing clouds rapidly advanced to Jammu and Kashmir and are likely to soak parched fields in the breadbasket states of Haryana and Punjab in the next two to three days. The monsoon, which arrived behind schedule last month and stuttered for five weeks, has covered the oilseed-growing central India, most parts of Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh along with some parts of west Uttar Pradesh and east Rajasthan, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), which has forecast near-normal rainfall in July and August. On Thursday, the Himalayan states were drenched by two to three times the normal daily rainfall for this time of the year, while the country's total rainfall for the day was 17% below normal, narrowing the cumulative seasonal deficit to 30% from 31% two days ago. The country's 84 major water reservoirs were filled up to 16% of their capacity, which is 57% of last year's level and 83% of the 10-year average, according to official data. Reservoirs are vital for irrigation both for the current and the winter-sown crops as well as for hydropower generation that seasonally peaks in July and August. Water level can rise to optimal levels if the monsoon strengthens further, which is what the weather office has forecast. 'Conditions are favourable for further advance of Southwest Monsoon into some more parts of Gujarat state, Rajasthan, west Uttar Pradesh and remaining parts of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and some parts of Haryana (including Delhi) and Punjab during next 2-3 days,' it said in its latest forecast. Some key water reservoirs urgently need rain to avoid a sharp fall in hydropower generation and supply for irrigation. Water level at Gobind Sagar (Bhakra) is barely 17% of capacity compared with the 10-year average of 32%. In Karnataka, some reservoirs have dried up and the others are much below average. The revival of the monsoon is expected to step up sowing of oilseeds and paddy and calm fears of food inflation, which has remained high. Crop sowing has so far been significantly lower than last year but officials say that this can rapidly change after the monsoon improves.