DESPITE MONSOON having arrived a fortnight early this year, and brought with it surplus rain, over two dozen districts of Punjab and Haryana — both paddy growers — have been recording deficit rainfall.
This year, an early monsoon was witnessed after a gap of 13 years. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the heat wave in Punjab and Haryana may subside in the next 72 hours.
Normally, monsoon arrives in the region by June 28-29. However, this year, a low-pressure trough in the northern part of the Bay of Bengal made conditions favourable for sudden advancement of rains, and monsoon reached the region on June 13.
IMD Chandigarh sources said that overall, Chandigarh — the joint capital of both states — had recorded 17 per cent less rain against the required, while Punjab and Haryana had recorded 7 and 13 per cent less rain respectively, by July 2. Over two dozen districts of both states have received less rain this monsoon season.
In both states, paddy transplanting is underway, where around 43 lakh hectares area is used for rice growing. A majority of these 43 lakh hectares is used for growing paddy (a water-guzzling crop).
In both states, 29 districts have deficit rain, including 13 of 23 districts in Punjab and 16 of 22 districts of Haryana.
In Punjab, where a huge area is under paddy crop, Fazilka and Barnala districts got 63 per cent less rain each, Amritsar has 48 per cent less rain, Sangrur and Mansa recorded 38 per cent less and 34 per cent less rain respectively. Ferozepur, Fatehgarh , Patiala and Hoshiarpur also got 28, 16, 13 and 10 per cent less rain against the required normal. Roopnagar, Mohali, Tarn Taran and Nawanshahr districts were also on the list of districts that recorded the least amount of rainfall.
Records show that in Haryana, Panchkula tops the chart in deficit rainfall, getting only 30 per cent of what is required. Gurgaon, Charkhi Dadri, Mangergarh and Rohtak districts too got 62 per cent less, 50 per cent less, 42 per cent less and 41 per cent less rain, respectively.
In Haryana, four districts recorded surplus rain till date — Sirsa (257 per cent), Fatehabad (56 per cent), Hisar (37 per cent) and Sonepat (32 per cent).
Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh had recorded 184 per cent, 136 per cent, and 219 per cent departure from normal to surplus rainfall between from June 1 and June 13 but within two weeks, the surplus rain turned into deficit owing to the prevailing heat wave.