After two consecutive years of deficient rains, this year could be a cheery one with the country-wide deficit being met.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, monsoon rains across India are about 1% above normal for this time of the year. The data was recorded between June 1 and July 10. On June 1, the overall rain deficit was 28%. This reduced to 25% by mid-June. It was only in the first week of July that the rain gap started to come down.
Five states — Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Goa — have seen above normal rains.
Of these, rains in the previously parched Madhya Pradesh are in excess by 72%. In Andhra Pradesh, the rains are 44% in excess while in Maharashtra, they are 21% more than normal. While the cumulative monsoon rain average for this time of the year is 251.8 mm, the average rain received so far is 254.6 mm.
Not all is good news, however. There are nine states and Union territories where rains are either deficient or scanty. The worst of these is Manipur, which has seen 147.7 mm of rain as against a normal of 541.4 mm — a deficit of 73%.
Of the seven states in the north-east – as many as five have seen little rain. Meghalaya has seen a 58% deficit and Tripura and Nagaland have seen deficits of 38% and 37% respectively. Assam has a deficit of 25%. Outside the north-east, Gujarat has received only 77.1 mm of rain, a deficit of 58%. According to IMD officials, rain deficit across the country is expected to be met in July and August. North-east India could end up with a small deficit though, an IMD official said.