AGARTALA: The four-month-long monsoon was the most uneven in the mountainous northeastern region. Four of the eight north-eastern States have received excess rain while the remaining four reported rainfall deficit.
Even as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) termed 19 per cent excess or shortage in rainfall as "normal" monsoon, Sikkim and Meghalaya recoded 60 and 39 per cent excess rainfall respectively while Manipur and Mizoram witnessed 47 and 34 per cent deficient rainfall.
The monsoon season in India officially starts on June 1 and continues till September 30. According to the IMD officials, the withdrawal of monsoon from west Rajasthan and parts of Punjab started on September 28 while its withdrawal in the north-eastern region normally takes place in the second week of October. According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) scientists, the erratic monsoon is likely to affect both the kharif and rabi crops in the region.
As per the IMD records, between June 1 and September 30, Sikkim recorded plus (excess) 60 per cent rain, Meghalaya plus 39 per cent, Arunachal Pradesh plus 13 per cent and Assam plus 11 per cent. Manipur recorded minus (deficit) 47 per cent rainfall, Mizoram minus 34 per cent, Nagaland minus 26 per cent and Tripura minus 11 per cent.
According to IMD officials and experts, the four-month long southwest monsoon (June-September) is in full swing in most parts of the hilly north-eastern region which in most years recorded a good monsoon. IMD scientist Ranjan Phukan said as the monsoon trough was mostly active along the foothills of the Himalayas, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya recorded good and heavy monsoon rains.
"Until the first half of the monsoon, it was good rainfall in four north-eastern States. One after another low pressure in the Bay of Bengal, the monsoon trough and related wind condition moved to eastern and central India region skipping the north-eastern States causing less rainfall in various States," said Phukan over the phone.
According to the disaster management officials, monsoon floods and landslides have claimed 146 lives in Assam, 15 in Arunachal Pradesh, 10 in Meghalaya and one in Tripura till October 1, 2020. ICAR's Principal Scientist Shankar Prashad Das said that the erratic monsoon would affect the kharif crops in the north-eastern region.
"During the tillering stage of the crop, the shortage of rainfall would affect the production, productivity and otherwise. Distribution of rain is very erratic in the region. The deficient rainfall would affect the crops in Mizoram followed by Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura," said Das. According to Das, the reproduction phase of the crops would also be affected in the north-eastern region due to the unreliable rainfall.
"Good rainfall in August is very crucial for various crops in Northeast; and this year, during August, rainfall was either less or uneven in the region," the ICAR's Principal Scientist pointed out. (IANS)