BENGALURU: The State that has witnessed deficit rain during the South West monsoon is now facing deficient North East rains too. Since October 1, Karnataka received 33.5 mm average rainfall as against the normal 161.3 mm.
A senior official from the Indian Meteorological Department, Bengaluru, told Express that from October 28, South West wind disappeared completely from India. “The North East monsoon has arrived but is weak. This Rabi, between October 1 and November 14 (Monday), we were supposed to receive 161.3 mm rainfall of which we received only 33.5 mm. This is close to 80 per cent deficit,’’ he said
It may be recalled that normal rainfall from June to September end is 735 mm, while the state got only 599 mm. With North East rainfall too being less, there will be dry days ahead.
“This year, the situation looks bleak. Last year, we had identified 136 drought hit taluks and this year there are 139 taluks,’’ said a statistical officer from the Revenue Department.
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha president Kodihalli Chandrashekar said farmers will face bad days this time. “The sowing period is over. Sometimes, we sow onion, horse gram when Rabi rainfall is less. But this year there has been very little rain. Only if it rains in the coming days, will the dams get filled and help farmers.
‘Govt could mull over farm loan waiver by March-April’
Cooperation Minister H S Mahadeva Prasad said the state government could mull over farm loan waiver in the cooperative sector by next March-April. The government aims at providing Rs 10,400 crore farm loan to about 20 lakh farmers in the cooperative sector in the current fiscal year and by October end, it has disbursed Rs 6,400 crore in this direction. In all, the farm loan in the state comes around Rs 45,000 crore, including about Rs 10,000 crore in the cooperative sector, he added.
Centre’s assistance sought
Siddaramaiah has sought the Centre’s assistance to the state, as the North east monsoons also seem to have failed. Already 139 taluks have been declared as drought hit due to failure of the monsoon and kharif crops being hit. “The state has experienced shortage as well as excess of rains in several regions. According to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) guidelines, we have sought Rs 4,656 crore for drought relief and Rs 380 crore due to floods. Our situation is pretty bad. A team from the Centre has already toured the areas to assess the situation. I am also writing to PM Modi in this regard,” he said.
Drought-hit taluks in Karnataka