No monsoon revival, water scarcity a reality, says report - The New Indian Express

No monsoon revival, water scarcity a reality, says report

Published: 06th September 2012 10:24 AM

Last Updated: 06th September 2012 10:24 AM

Hopes of monsoon revival has been belied. With just a month remaining for the South-West monsoon, which spreads between June and September, predictions by Indian Meteorological Department officials that monsoon would revive by late August has failed.

Water levels at major reservoirs are still low, indicating water scarcity in the state. According to the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) report, between June 1 and September 2, the state received 526 mm rainfall as against the normal 686mm, recording a deficit of 23 per cent. The water levels in major reservoirs is short by 25 per cent to 50 per cent of the full capacity.

(Table 1 and 2) “Though past week witnessed good rainfall and increased the water levels in the last eight days, the levels at Linganamakki, Varahi, Supa and KRS reservoirs are less when compared to the corresponding period of 15 years average levels. Though it is early to assess the situation, it is alarming,” KSNMDC director V S Prakash said.

In the past week, rainfall was excess in Chitradurga, Davangere, Mysore, Tumkur districts, normal in Bangalore Rural, Chikkaballapura districts, deficit in Bangalore Urban, Chamarajanagara, Kolar and Mandya districts and scanty in Ramanagara district. Among the 281 hoblis, rainfall was excess in 102 hoblis, normal in 45, deficit in 77 and scanty in 57.

And, out of total 3,524 minor irrigation tanks in the state, 65 per cent of the tanks are dry and only six per cent of the tanks had storage capacity of more than 50 per cent of their total capacity. Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department is predicting moderate to rather heavy rains at most places over all the coastal districts of the state and at many places over all the north interior districts of Karnataka & south interior Karnataka during the coming week.

Though the rainfall was heavy during the past 10 days, it was of little help to the farmers in many districts. As on August 22, 157 taluks have been notified as drought affected as per the KSNMDC rules. However, the sowing has improved drastically during last month.

Though an area of 34.98 lakh hectares was sown by July 31, an area of 53.08 lakh ha was sown as on August 31. But, 30 per cent of the target area of 74.70 lakh ha is still unsown as on date.

(Table 3) “In Mandya district, though there is a slight increase in the sugarcane sowing, several areas are still affected. It is not as rosy as what the government is projecting with respect to sugarcane crops. Hardly 10 per cent is covered under irrigation,” Chikkabore Gowda, Sathanur Village in Mandya Taluk.

Pulses such as greengram and horsegram, cereal crops such as jowar, ragi and bajra and oilseeds like groundnut and sunflower have already been affected. However, experts are predicting that the production will touch 100 lakh tonnes, but are skeptical of how much will hit the market as the price fluctuation is likely to play a major role.

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