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Sunday 15 December 2019
India Monsoon hits Kerala; northern India must wait

Monsoon hits Kerala; northern India must wait

Much of agrarian India depends on the monsoon that normally lasts four months, accounting for 75% of the annual rainfall in the country

Thiruvananthapuram/New Delhi: At the southern tip of the Indian peninsula, monsoon has finally kicked in. The rain started in the coastal areas of Kerala on Saturday after eight days of delay. According to an official of the Indian Meteorological Department, it is raining in many parts of the State.

This is good news for the largely agrarian country at a time of farm distress. Water levels in the reservoirs had gone down to alarming levels in western and southern India.

Much of rural India depends on the monsoon that normally lasts four months, which accounts for 75% of the annual rainfall experienced by the country. A good rain has a direct impact on the economy as agriculture plays a vital role in sustaining the lives of an estimated 45% of the population although their contribution to the GDP is on a constant decline.

According to economist and former vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog, “Over the 65 year period spanning 1951-52 to 2016-17, industry has grown at the annual average rate of 6.1%, services 6.2% and agriculture only 2.9%. The result of this asymmetry in growth rates has been that the share of agriculture in GDP has fallen from a hefty 53.1% in 1950-51 to just 15.2% in 2016-17.” [The Times of India, 10 January 2019]

Earlier, the Meteorological Department had said that the monsoon would reach India by 6 June in Kerala. Private weather forecasting agency Skymet had informed that the rain could
knock to the State by 4 June. Usually, the date of commencement of rainfall in
Kerala is 1 June.

Northern India awaits the monsoon

Northern India, central India and southern parts of the country have recorded temperatures above 45°C, which is severely affecting people’s health and livelihood. In some areas of Rajasthan, mercury has crossed the 50°C mark. People have reportedly reduced the frequency and duration of venturing outside.

In Delhi, monsoon could reach with a delay of two to three days. There is a possibility of a normal monsoon in the city as well as north-western India.

The fierce heat in northern India has led to water scarcity. In the sandy terrain of Rajasthan, life is now miserable. In Churu, the mercury crossed the 50°C mark. All the reservoirs have dried up in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur. The water crisis in rural areas is worse. In the month of June, the city’s average maximum temperature has been 47.7°C.

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