Bengal sees deficient rainfall in June, steps being taken to protect crops

Bengal sees deficient rainfall in June, steps being taken to protect crops
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Kolkata: West Bengal, since the onset of monsoon in June, has received deficient rainfall in 15 of its 23 districts, raising the likelihood of crops loss in some places, officials said.

Steps are being taken by the irrigation department to avert any crisis that may arise due to insufficient rainfall, they said.

According to the Met department, 13 districts of Gangetic Bengal received less rainfall than normal, while two in the sub-Himalayan region of the state experienced deficient rain.

The department also said that Gangetic Bengal received 45 per cent less rainfall between June 1 and July 5, with the districts of Birbhum and Murshidabad being the most affected, having experienced just 38 per cent and 39 per cent of normal rainfall respectively during the period, it said.

Darjeeling and Uttar Dinajpur are the only districts to have received normal rainfall this monsoon so far, while Cooch Behar witnessed 80 per cent excess rainfall, it stated.

State irrigation minister Soumen Mohapatra said that measures were being taken by the government to provide water from deep tube wells and rivers for agriculture purposes.

"A meeting of departments concerned was held to assess the situation and take action for mitigating the situation that has emerged due to deficient rainfall in several districts. As there is less water in the reservoirs in the region, it is difficult to provide water from these," Mohapatra told PTI.

He said that there is a possibility that paddy and vegetable cultivation might get affected in some districts including Malda, Birbhum and Murshidabad owing to insufficient rainfall so far.

Regional Met director G K Das told PTI that south Bengal districts are likely to receive "below normal" rainfall in July, too.

He said that the monsoon entered Gangetic West Bengal districts as late as June 18, while the normal date for the advancement of the rainy season into the region is June 9.