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UPA’s first challenge: ‘Below normal’ monsoon predicted

South-west monsoon is likely to be below normal this season,announced the centre raising concerns about its impact on agriculture and economy.

South-west monsoon is likely to be below normal this season,government announced on Wednesday raising concerns about its impact on agriculture and economy.

“South-west monsoon from June to September is likely to be below normal,” Earth Sciences Minister Prithviraj Chavan told reporters in New Delhi.

He said quantitatively,monsoon rainfall for the country as a whole is likely to be 93 per cent of the long-period average. This is three per cent less than what the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had forecast in April.

Chavan was subjected to a volley of questions,including whether he visualised the monsoon scenario as worrisome,whether the country is in for a drought and whether he foresaw a situation of water-rationing.

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“I will not call it worrisome as of now,” he said downplaying questions about water scarcity and drought.

“Plans are in place in every department of Government of India as to what needs to be done when there is excess or deficient rains,” was his refrain.

According to the forecast,the north-western region of the country is likely to get deficient rains while monsoon is expected to be below normal in north-east and peninsular India. Central India,which is yet to receive rains,is expected to have a normal monsoon.

First published on: 24-06-2009 at 08:07:29 pm
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