Rain deficit the worst in Northeast India this year
As predicted by Skymet Weather, Northeast India, where the economy is primarily based on agricultural activities, is reeling under a deficit rainfall (June to September – 35%) condition, which has already posed serious danger to cultivation of paddy (especially in the month of July).
Reports reveal that the number of monsoon rainfall deficient years in the Northeast has been growing since 2001. Arunachal Pradesh Meteorological Sub-division has recorded five monsoon rainfall deficient years, while the Assam-Meghalaya Meteorological Subdivision recorded six monsoon rainfall deficient years, with the Nagaland-Manipur-Mizoram-Tripura Meteorological Sub-division recording four monsoon rainfall deficient years since 2001.
Further figures show, month of July was the driest this monsoon as Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and other NE states received very little rain.
According to Arunachal Meteorology Subdivision, the state faced a deficit of 36%, while Assam and the NMMT(Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura) belt were reeling under a 45% and 61% rainfall deficit respectively, till the month of July.
Since only six per cent of the state`s cultivable land has access to irrigation facility, farmers organization in Assam this year, raised an alarm over the deficit rainfall situation and exhorted upon the state government to undertake emergency measures to tackle the imminent ‘drought like situation’.
“Having a look at the major city figures, we see that there has been a deficit of 25%, 32%, 15% in Guwahati, Agartala and Imphal respectively, for the entire monsoon season (June to Sept), informs Samar Chaudhury, a senior meteorologist at Skymet Weather. “Sadly so, one of the wettest states in the world, Cherrapunji, has also suffered a rain deficit of 16% so far, with only 3749mm of rain recorded, as opposed to the normal of 4455mm”, added Chaudhury.
“As compared to last year, the rainfall deficit figures are way more this year. Last year, the rainfall figures in most parts of northeast India, except Agartala, hovered around the normal average. The reasons are many. This year, only one depression formed in the Bay of Bengal and all the low pressure systems that did form went westwards, towards central India, giving heavy rain at Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat”, says Mahesh Palawat, head of the Meteorological team at Skymet.
“Also, no major western disturbance affected the Indian subcontinent this year. These western disturbances usually move towards northeast India, after affecting north India. Therefore it was just the monsoon trough giving rain to the northeast sector. And it was due to little scattered rain this year that the mercury rose to absurd levels”, Palawat added further.
This monsoon maximums rose to 38 degrees in many parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Assam too, was seen recording 35 degree Celsius, continuously in the month of July and August, due to little rain”,
Some believe, other than the uncontrollable weather related factors, it is the direct interference of humans with the nature, i.e. building too many dams and diverting major rivers, that has been the major reason for decreased rainfall activity over the years in the northeast.