Rains advance to central, south and east India

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 21 2012, 07:19am hrs
The south-western monsoon rains intensified further in south, central and eastern parts of the country, boosting the kharif sowing potential across key paddy growing regions, an India Meteorological Department (IMD) report said on Wednesday.

The monsoon was patchy initially after its delayed entry to Kerala coast on June 5. However, it has progressed at a faster pace during the last one week.

IMD has predicted heavy rainfall over Gangetic West Bengal and Orissa during the next 48 hours.

Rainfall has occurred at most places over coastal Karnataka and Kerala, at many places in North-eastern India, Gangetic West Bengal, Konkan & Goa, at a few places over Assam, east Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Vidarbha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and few places in Jammu & Kashmir, east Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar,West Bengal & Sikkim, Gujarat, West Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathawada, south interior Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the met department statement said.

IMD will release a detailed report on the progress of monsoon on Friday.

Monsoon is crucial for agriculture as about 40% of the cultivable area is under irrigation. The agriculture sector contributes about 15% to the countrys gross domestic product (GDP), but more than 55% of the countrys workforce is engaged with the sector.

The recent rainfall in paddy growing regions would help sowing activities which is expected to commence over the next few weeks, an agriculture ministry official said.

As per the ministry of agriculture data, more than 5.2 million hectare (mh) under sugarcane has been sown till now as against 4.9 mh in the corresponding period of 2011-12. Oilseeds have been sown in 1.72 lakh hectares so far.

Due to adequate monsoon rainfall during 2010 and 2011, the grains production in the country rose to an all-time record of 245 million tonne and 252.56 mt, respectively.

IMD in April had predicted normal rainfall for the south-western monsoon (June-September).

Rains during the June-September season are likely to be 99% of the long period average (LPA). LPA is calculated on the basis of an average annual rainfall received during 1951-2000, at 89 cm.

In 2011, the rainfall for the season (June-September) was 101% of its LPA.

Out of the total 36 meteorological subdivisions, 33 subdivisions constituting 92% of the total area of the country received excess or normal season rainfall and the remaining 3 subdivisions (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam & Meghalaya, constituting 8% of the total area of the country) received deficient season rainfall in 2011, an IMD report had stated.