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Monsoon still shaky; eastern India may see deficit news
31 July 2010

According to current monsoon behaviour, parts of India could suffer a drought-like situation even as the rest of the country gets normal rains. While the India Meteorological Department on Friday tried to allay fears of a failed monsoon, it warned against a structural shift in the pattern of the annual rainfall that could yet force a change in cropping patterns in the country.

While the IMD maintained the situation was still being reviewed, it said that some of the adverse climate conditions of last year, which eventually resulted in a drought, seem to be playing out in the current year too.

The picture for the eastern region looks particularly grim. Jharkhand has so far suffered a 46 per cent deficiency in the rainfall, Bihar 20 per cent, eastern Uttar Pradesh 32 per cent, Gangetic West Bengal 31 per cent, East Rajasthan 20 per cent, and West Madhya Pradesh 26 per cent.

Central and north-western parts of the country are expected to get normal rains while the south peninsular region is likely to receive slightly higher rains, but the eastern parts even with normal monsoon over the next couple of months would suffer at least 10 per cent deficit for the entire monsoon period.

The national picture, which covers up for regional variations, however painted a better picture, with the IMD predicting that monsoon would be normal overall and would pick up in August and September.

"The monsoon season (June to September) rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be within the normal limits as predicted by the weather office earlier. The monsoon in June and July has been 95 per cent," IMD director general A K Tyagi said in New Delhi. In the second half of the monsoon period, IMD suggested that 107 per cent of the long term average rainfall would be achieved.

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Monsoon still shaky; eastern India may see deficit