Delhi witnessed heavy rains on Tuesday morning forcing the temperature to drop in several parts of the city
The southwest monsoon displayed an unprecedented pick-up, moving from a deficiency of 26 per cent as of June-end to 9 per cent as of July-end, to a surplus of 1 per cent above normal as of mid-August. July and August are the most critical months for agriculture. So while the rain catch-up is beneficial for the kharif crop, ample rains also bode well for the rabi crop, which depends on groundwater. At the same time, rapidly rising storage in reservoirs provides comfort. Still the rain pattern is somewhat skewed, with some regions still facing deficiency and some seeing rains go from deficient to excess.
Overall, the rain recovery over the past few weeks is encouraging at an all-India level since it puts to rest concerns around yet another year of rainfall shortage and the impact on sowing. But the havoc created by excessive rains is perhaps as big a worry because of the difficulty in ascertaining the extent of damage to crop and livestock.
Region-wise, the east and northeast are recording a 15 per cent deficiency, followed by 10 per cent in the northwest, while south peninsula and northwest regions rains are 5 per cent and 16 per cent above normal. At the state and sub-regional level, rains are considered normal if they are -20 per cent to 20 per cent of normal levels.
But the narrative differs at the state level. Maharashtra is most inundated by rains, followed by Gujarat and Karnataka. Interestingly, these three states were few of the most deficient at the start of the monsoon season. For instance, Maharashtra now records rains that are 32 per cent above normal, whereas deficiency in the state as of June-end was 57 per cent. Other states like Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Andhra have also seen good recovery of rains. West Bengal and Haryana though have stayed deficient throughout.
Source: IMD, agriculture ministry, CRISIL