Drought Predicted For India

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With the now-long-awaited monsoon rains not pouring down, India is liable to suffer from the worst drought in past five years. Insufficient rainfalls have affected sowing of maize and paddy in Punjab and Haryana. Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra which are the major producers of sugar cane, pulses, vegetables, and fruits are now suffering from drought-like situation.

Sixty five percent of the country’s arable area is dependent on rain. The Center has informed the parliament about the deficit rainfall and the Central Government has put up a contingency plan in five hundred districts. The states have been instructed to save ten percent of the funds available for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana for emergency situations. Drought will be declared only after analyzing the cumulative rainfall from June till September. The water levels in both the reservoirs, Bhakra and Pong have come down.

The distressful situation over deficit rainfall will make it nearly impossible for Modi’s Government to provide what is promised in the initial budget on Thursday. The oil price rise due to the fear of squeezed supply from violence ripped Iraq will add to the problems of Government.

Onion price is the dominant topic of discussions. Its wholesale prices have increased with a steep rise in price from ten to fifteen rupees per kilogram (kg) to fifteen to twenty five rupees per kg. Onions are available at a price of thirty five to forty rupees per kg in the retail market in the National Capital Region (NCR). The average price of onion is twenty eight rupees per kg in the country.

The most distressed section is the farmers whose livelihood depends entirely on the rain.The Meteorological Department (MET) has said that the rainfall may revive after fourteenth of July.

The monsoon rains may bring along it road blocks and traffic jams, but trouble that comes from food shortage that adversely affects not just the livelihood of the farmers but also of the entire country is the major concern at hand.

We hope to get some relief from the scorching heat with clouds pouring down after mid of July.

Rain, rain come again!

Ratanpriya Sharma

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