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As monsoon enters its last month this year, Punjab is heading for below normal rainfall with 68 per cent districts of the state being under deficit rain. Haryana, meanwhile, presents a much better picture with 63 per cent districts in the state recording surplus rain.

In Punjab and Haryana, June to September period is considered as the monsoon period.

Around 490 mm and 440 mm rain is considered to be the normal monsoon rain in Punjab and Haryana, respectively, during these four months.

As per data sourced from the Indian Meteorological Department, Chandigarh Office, Punjab has received 294.6 mm rainfall from June to August 31 (cumulative rain) against the required normal rainfall of 386.6 mm during this period, which is 92 mm (24 per cent) below normal till date.

In August, when the state required 160 mm rainfall in this particular month alone, only 70 mm rain was recorded which is 90 mm less than the required normal.

Rainfall was almost normal in first two months — June and July — of the monsoons.

While July had deficit rain during first three weeks, the last week of the month has seen some some heavy rain that resulted into overall normal cumulative rain of the month. But even then it was not well distributed.

Experts said that when there was lack of required rain during some weeks of the rainy season then the toll on the ground water was quite heavy, something that heavy showers later cannot make up for. Punjab and Haryana are both the key rice growers and that takes a huge toll on ground water.

Out of 176.4 mm rain required during July, Punjab this year recorded 174.7 mm. In June, it recorded 49.9 mm rain against required 50.4 mm.

The 15 districts of the total 23 of the state recorded deficit rain, including Fazilka that topped the list with 78 per cent deficit rain till date as only 50.7 mm rain was recorded here in this rainy season against the normal required 228.2 mm.

Mohali and Amritsar have received 50 per cent and 45 per cent of the required rain till date, respectively. Against required 462.4 mm, only 229.6 mm rain took place in Mohali and in Amritsar, against 426.5 mm, only 235.9mm rain was recorded.

Sangrur got 48 per cent less of the required Barnala and Mansa witnessed 44 per cent and 43 per cent less than normal rain, respectively. Tarn Taran witnessed 38 per cent less, Fatehgarh Sahib, Rupnagar and Hoshiarpur districts recorded 33 per cent , 32 per cent and 31 per cent deficit rain, respectively. Nawanshahr and Gurdaspur recorded 29 per cent and 24 per cent less rain.

Apart from this Mukatsar, Ferozepur, Moga and Patiala also recorded less rain than normal.

Kapurthala district of the state has shown the highest rainfall with 73 per cent surplus as the district’s normal rain should be 290.6 mm but actually it recorded 501.5 mm.

Faridkot also witnessed 20 per cent surplus rain. Apart from this Ludhiana, Bathinda, and Pathnakot have shown 7 per cent, 4 per cet, and 3 per cent and Jalandhar got just the required normal.

Neighbouring Haryana has however recorded overall surplus rain where 8 per cent above normal rain took place in the first three months of this rainy season as the state’s normal rainfall is usually 360 mm from June to August, but actually the state had recorded 388.5 mm.

Chandigarh has recorded 39 per cent deficit rain as it needed 701.3 mm rain against 427.7 mm actually.

In Haryana, out of 22 districts 14 districts received surplus rain with Jhajjar topping the list by recording 76 per cent surplus rain followed by Fatehabad (71 per cent surplus), Kaithal (62 per cent surplus), Sonepat (40 per cent surplus) Jind (30 per cent surplus), Gurgaon (23 per cent surplus), Panipat, Rewari (both 22 per cent more) and Karnal (21 per cent surplus each), Hisar (19 per cent more), Kurukshetra (15 per cent more), Mahendergarh (11 per cent more), Nuh and Sirsa (2 per cent and 3 per cent surplus, respectively).

Panchkula recorded highest deficit rain in Haryana with 52 per cent deficit followed by Ambala (39 per cent less), Bhiwani (25 per cent deficit), Faridabad (18 per cent less), Yamunanagar (16 per cent less), Rohtak (15 per cent less) , Charkhi Dadri (14 per cent less) and Palwal (8 per cent deficit).

In July Haryana received overall 51 per cent surplus rain.

Punjab Agriculture Department Director SS Sidhu said that when rain is not well distributed in paddy growing states then the groundwater exploitation cannot be stopped as water guzzling paddy is grown in the state during the rainy season only.

Dr Prabhjyot Kaur Sidhu, the head of the Department for Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Ludhiana said that in Punjab paddy cultivation on large area is more to be blamed than rain for the overexploitation of the ground water and governments should take it seriously.

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