With the start of monsoon retreat, Gujarat is staring at a rainfall deficit of 23 per cent against the national shortfall of 5 per cent.
According to data from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Saurashtra and Kutch recorded 17 per cent less rainfall this season, while the deficit was 26 per cent in the rest of the state.
Despite an ongoing cyclonic activity over the state for the last three days and rainfall in Saurashtra and South Gujarat, the deficiency is unlikely to be covered. More rainfall is expected in parts of the state for two to three days.
“The monsoon withdrawal has already started in western parts of India, including Rajasthan and parts of Kutch. The retreat usually starts from September 15 and is completed by October 1. The 23 per cent rain deficit is unlikely to be recovered now, though this might reduce to some extent due to the cyclonic activity,” said Jayanta Sarkar, regional director of the Ahmedabad centre of the IMD.
As per IMD’s weather forecast, an upper air cyclonic circulation that lies over south west Madhya Pradesh and adjoining Gujarat region is expected to bring heavy to moderate rainfall in Saurashtra and south Gujarat areas.
The northern and the central parts of the state, including Ahmedabad, Mehsana and Patan, are unlikely to receive rainfall due to this activity, said Sarkar.
Till September 18, out of 33 only two Saurashtra districts of Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar have received excess rainfall. Only 12 districts have received normal rainfall — one in north Gujarat (Patan), five in Saurashtra (Botad, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Junagadh and Gir Somnath), four in the eastern belt (Aravalli, Mahisagar, Panchmahal and Dahod) and two in the south (Dangs and Valsad).
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The remaining 19 are under deficit. These include Vadodara with the highest deficit of 56 per cent, Bharuch (50 per cent), Anand (47 per cent), Ahmedabad (43 per cent), Narmada (45 per cent), Tapi (44 per cent), Kheda (42 per cent), Morbi (40 per cent), Surendranagar (35 per cent), Kutch (30 per cent), Banaskantha and Chhota Udepur (29 per cent), Navsari, Surat and Sabarkantha (27 per cent), Rajkot (22 per cent) and Porbandar (21 per cent).
The rainfall deficit pattern for Gujarat might raise concerns for the BJP-led state government which is preparing for the Assembly elections next year.