Monsoon leaves Odisha high & dry
With the South-West monsoon weakening in the middle of its course, almost half the State is thirsting for rains. As many as 14 districts have received deficient rainfall in June leaving the farming community in the midst of an uncertain cropping season.
If the rainfall scenario does not improve by the beginning of July, agriculture sector could be in for more trouble. As of now, much depends on two cyclonic circulations which the weather office said are likely to form in July first week over the Bay of Bengal.
According to the latest rainfall distribution report of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Odisha has recorded 16 per cent less rainfall than normal during June. As against the normal rainfall of 186.6 mm, Odisha has received 157.2 mm.
Although in the meteorological parlance, a deviation of 19 pc is considered normal, it does not apply to 14 districts which have recorded more deficit. As many as seven districts __ Gajapati, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Koraput and Nabarangpur __ have received over 40 pc less rainfall than normal. With a deficit of 63 pc, Jajpur is among the driest of the districts this season. For the rest, the deficit ranges from 40 to 49 pc.
The other districts which have recorded major deficit in rainfall are Angul (31 pc), Balasore (38 pc), Bhadrak (36 pc), Deogarh (38 pc), Mayurbhanj (35 pc), Rayagada (35 pc) and Nayagarh (25 pc).
Since this is the period for raising nursery, the inadequate rain has not affected the farming activities to a great extent. However, transplantation, weeding and subsequent activities would necessitate more showers because of which July will be crucial for the agriculture sector.
What, however, comes as a ray of hope is the possibility of formation of two cyclonic circulations over the Bay of Bengal over the next one week. The IMD said one circulation lies over north-east Bay of Bengal while the other is over west- central Bay, off north Andhra Pradesh.
“It is the one lying close to north-east Bay of Bengal that shows more promise of turning dense and intensifying into a low pressure. If that happens, the monsoon will be activated again and rainfall activity will increase over the State,” said an official.
The intensification of the system located up north could lead to cloud incursion over South Odisha triggering more rains.