According to Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, the state has so far received 488mm of rainfall, while the average is 471mm. While in June Karnataka recorded 198mm as against the normal rainfall of 199mm (-1%), the figure for July was 290mm as opposed to the normal of 271mm (+7%).
Seven districts which received below-normal rainfall are Hassan, Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru, Mysuru, Udupi, Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada.
After lashing the state in June and early July, monsoon had lost vigour in mid-July, leading to slowing down of kharif sowing, besides inducing fear of water shortage across the state. However, it gained momentum during the second half of July with almost 70 per cent of the districts witnessing surplus rain.
Manoj Rajan, commissioner, KSDMA, said the state received abundant rainfall between July 22 and July 26, reducing the shortfall and ensuring huge inflow to major dams (486 tmc ft), which is 56% of the gross storage. While south interior Karnataka received 78% excess rainfall in July, for north interior Karnataka, it was 37%, he said.
Increase in sowing:
Sowing too picked up pace and is well above average now. Rajan said sowing of kharif crops has gone up to 59 lakh hectares compared to 52 lakh hectares during the corresponding period (June-July) the previous year. This is better than the five-year average of 48 lakh hectares.
“With decent monsoon, sowing so far has been good, and we are hopeful of reaching the target of 77 lakh hectares in the next few weeks,” said Brijesh Kumar Dikshit, commissioner, agriculture department, adding that sowing of maize has increased significantly this time.
The second half (August-September) of monsoon also seems promising. Quoting IMD data, Rajan said the percentage probability of rainfall forecast for the state will be normal and above normal. “If one goes by the pattern over the past five years, surplus rain has been recorded in August and September, leading to floods and landslides. We are well-prepared to handle the situation,” he added.