NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi-led Government has started preparing contingency plans to handle the subnormal monsoon this year with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday forecasting rainfall to be 93 per cent on an average.
The worst-affected would be the northwest, which comprises the country’s food bowl region such as Haryana and Punjab.
Announcing the monsoon forecast and progress, Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said the monsoon season is between June and September and the rainfall is likely to stay below normal at 93 per cent. He said, “there is no need to be alarmed but we need to prepare for less than normal rain.”
In April, the Met Department had predicted a below normal monsoon at 95 per cent owing to strong El Nino due to extreme sea surface temperature conditions over Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The deficit rainfall is a big worry as it will impact the agricultural production and lead to rise in prices of essential commodities. The worry over poor monsoon was also expressed by President Pranab Mukherjee in joint address to the Parliament. “My govt is alert about the possibility of a subnormal monsoon this year,” said Mukherjee. The region-wise distribution shows, the seasonal rainfall is likely to be 85 per cent over Northwest India, 94 per cent over central India, 93 per cent over South Peninsula and 99 per cent over northeast India. El Nino condition is linked to weakening of monsoon and it had led to deficit rainfall in previous years.
Secretary Earth Science Shailesh Nayak said the Cabinet Secretary had already held meetings with different ministries to tackle any situation arising out of the below normal monsoon and a contingency plan was prepared.