Though the first phase (July) of this monsoon (June to September) was not good for Punjab and Haryana, where 24 of the 41 districts (nearly 58 per cent area) recorded deficient rainfall, the second phase (August) was the worst for both states when 36 districts recorded deficient and scanty rain, according to the India Meteorological Department. Also, seven districts of both states recorded over 80 per cent less rain. All 21 districts of Haryana and 15 of the 22 districts in Punjab are still dry this season, predicted as normal monsoon year.
In August, Haryana recorded -58 per cent less rain while it was just -10 per cent deficit in July. Punjab, too, has received -30 per cent rainfall in August overall. Of these 36 districts, 28 recorded scanty rainfall, meaning 40 per cent and above deficit rain, while eight districts have deficient rain, which means up to -40 per cent less rain. The capital, Chandigarh, which recorded -27 per cent deficit rain in July, has improved, recording 309.4 mm against the required 287.5 mm in August.
In August, Haryana received 71.7 mm rain against the required normal of 171.2 mm (-58 per cent). In July, Haryana got 183.9 mm against the normal 203.4 mm with just -10 per cent less. Punjab received 119.4 mm against the normal of 170.4 mm in August with -30 per cent deficit. In July, Punjab’s record was 200.3 mm rainfall against the required normal 223.3 mm with just -10% less.
In Punjab, Ferozepur topped the chart with -94 per cent (it was -74 per cent in July) followed by Faridkot district with -88 per cent less rain. In Haryana, Faridabad tops with -84 per cent less rain followed by Palwal and Gurgaon districts with -83 per cent and -82 per cent less rain. Sirsa and Sonepat recorded -81 per cent each while Rohtak, Fatehabad and Jhajjar -78 per cent, -76 per cent and -69 per cent less rain. In Punjab, Muktsar recorded – 69 pr cent less rain, followed by Barnala and Fatehgarh Sahib with -64 per cent each.
In Haryana, Panchkula was the worst hit in July with -73 per cent rain which came down to -44 per cent less rainl. Other rain-deficient districts in August were Bhiwani -71 per cent, Hisar -62 per cent, Panipat -65 per cent, Mahendergarh -59 per cent, Mewat -55 per cent, Kurukshetra -49 per cent, Jind -44 per cent, Rewari -39 pr cent (all in Haryana), Sangrur -63 per cent, Tarn Taran -59 per cent, Mansa -54 per cent, Amritsar -50 per cent, Hoshiarpur -48 per cent and Patiala -30 per cent (all in Punjab).
In Punjab, only four districts received surplus rain. Kapurthala topped with +42 per cent surplus, Gurdaspur +34 per cent, Ropar and Nawanshahr with +27 per cent and +2 per cent surplus. IMD Director Surinder Pal said in the past one month, the region received less rain and now, with September is left, good rainfall is a must to tide over the deficit. Punjab Agriculture Department Director JS Bains said, “Rice is a water-guzzling crop and we need good rainfall to save our underground water, which has already depleted alarmingly.”