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Monsoon improves, major gaps remain

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With the picking up in the past 10 days, overall levels in 84 major reservoirs across the country have risen to 61 per cent of last year’s storage as against 57 per cent a week before. However, those in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka continued to remain below the 2011 level.

The deficiency in the southwest monsoon was static at 23 per cent below normal, as the rains moved towards the hills, which does little to reduce the overall deficiency in the plains and coastal regions. So far, rainfall has been scanty or deficient in India’s main grain producing regions of Punjab and Haryana, and in the major growing regions for pulses, oilseeds and coarse cereals, of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Almost half the country has yet to get normal rainfall this season. Yesterday, Agriculture Minister said there was some concern on production of coarse cereals and drinking water supply. However, the sowing of cotton, paddy, and oilseeds was expected to pick up in the coming weeks.

Pawar added the situation in Karnataka and Maharashtra, two states which produce large quantities of coarse cereals, pulses and paddy, was worrisome.

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