The southwest monsoon, which has gathered significant pace in the last few days, is expected to cover the entire country in two-three days, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday. The Delhi-National Capital Region, too, received its first monsoon showers on Friday after a delay of almost a week.
“Yes, we have had the first monsoon showers in the national capital today and if the rains remain according to the set parameters till 8 am tomorrow, we can safely say the southwest monsoon has finally reached the capital albeit after a delay of almost a week,” L S Rathore, director general of IMD, told Business Standard.
Barring some remote parts of western Rajasthan, the southwest monsoon should cover the entire nation in two-three days, he added.
This should bring cheers to millions to farmers across the coutry, as the rains so far have been patchy ever since the southwest monsoon entered India on June 5 after a delay of almost four days.
In June, the rains were almost 30 per cent below normal, as most parts of north, west and central India remained devoid of rains.
Low rains also had an impact on sowing of kharif crops, mainly rice, coarse cereals and pulses. According to the agriculture ministry, till last week, sowing of rice had been around 2 million hectares less than last year, while that of coarse cereals was 3 million hectares less.
“Yes, acreage of rice and coarse cereals is less than last year, but we are hopeful that it will recover in the coming weeks if rains remain consistent,” a senior agriculture ministry official said.
The southwest monsoon has till now covered Punjab, Haryana, entire Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, eastern Indian states and southern India.
Monsoon rains are crucial for farm output and economic growth, as about 55 percent of India's arable land is rain fed.