Monsoon rains in India likely to be late this year
Monsoon rains, the main source of water for 600 million Indians who depend on agriculture, are likely to come a week late to the drought-hit country this year, authorities said Friday.india Updated: May 17, 2003 12:44 IST
Monsoon rains, the main source of water for 600 million Indians who depend on agriculture, are likely to come a week late to the drought-hit country this year, authorities said Friday.
This year's rainfall is also likely to fall short by about 15 percent, Dow Jones Newswires quoted the Center for Mathematical Modeling and Computer Simulation as saying.
The rain deficiency comes amid media reports of starvation and migration in many parts of central and western India, which were hit by a severe drought last year.
The drought was cited as a major reason for a decline in India's economic growth to 4.4 percent in the fiscal year that ended in March, compared to 5.6 percent in the previous year. The center estimates the rains will hit the southern coastal state of Kerala on June 6, a week later than normal, then extend to the rest of the country over the next four months.
It said southern, central and northeast India will likely receive more than normal rainfall in June, but rains along the western coast will be weak. Monthly rainfall in June may also be below normal for most parts of western, northern and parts of eastern India. The monsoon is crucial to Indian agriculture, because irrigation facilities are not well developed and nearly 70 percent of the country depend on rains.
First Published: May 17, 2003 12:44 IST