Himachal Pradesh has received the lowest rainfall in 20 years this monsoon, weather officials said on Friday.
"The overall monsoon situation in the hill state continues to be precarious. Large parts continue to be deficit," meteorological office director Manmohan Singh told IANS.
"The deficiency in the cumulative rainfall from June 1 to July 8 is more than 69 percent. The state has received (during this period) just 45.1 mm average rainfall against the normal average rainfall of 145.2 mm," he added.
While there was 72 percent deficit rainfall in Shimla, the figure is higher in Bilaspur (80 percent) and Chamba (90 percent).
"This is the lowest monsoon rainfall in the state in the past 20 years. It is alarming too as more than 80 percent of the horticulture and agricultural activities are rain-fed," the weather official said.
According to records of the meteorological office, the state saw 60 percent more rain (from June 1 to July 8) in 2001 and 51 percent more rain in 2000 and 2008. In the last 20 years, the monsoon was more than normal in 11 years ranging from 5 percent to 60 percent.
"The maximum deficit was recorded in 1992 (42 percent) from June 1 to July 8, followed by 30 percent in 2003 and 28 percent in 1993" Singh said.
He is, however, hopeful that the monsoon would be active in the coming days.
"The monsoon is likely to be active in the next few days," he said.