We expect monsoon advancement to be good: Laxman Singh Rathore, IMD
"Mumbai is a point, so I don’t want to say when it will hit the region. But monsoon progress over Goa and Konkan will be fast. Konkan is part of Maharashtra."
What do you think about the progress of the monsoon, and by when should we expect monsoon to cover Mumbai, Delhi and the rest of the country?
The monsoon’s progress looks very good as of now. It has further advanced into parts of the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Ideally, it should soon touch Mumbai and parts of Northeast. We expect the monsoon advancement will be good. The advancement will be very fast over the Bay of Bengal. It will rapidly swap across the bay and conditions are congenial for further advancement to cover Goa, Konkan coast and enter Maharashtra.
By when will monsoon rain cover Mumbai?
Mumbai is a point, so I don’t want to say when it will hit the region. But monsoon progress over Goa and Konkan will be fast. Konkan is part of Maharashtra.
By when do you expect the monsoon to reach north India?
Delhi bahut dur hai (Delhi is a long way away). The principal point of concern at this time is the region where water scarcity is there, particularly drinking water. Planting is secondary at this point of time. In the north interior parts of Karnataka, Marathwada planting might start. But after this spell, there might a small decline in rainfall. But in the second half of June, rainfall will be far better .
How do you see agriculture growth this year?
At this point of time we don’t see agriculture from sowing to harvest. We are now concentrated towards how the sowing and transplanting operation will open up. I am confident that from June 15 to July 15 — the typical sowing period for different crops including paddy, cotton, pulses, soyabean, millets and cereals — things will be good.
Have you given any advice to the agriculture ministry on which crops to be grown if rains are unevenly distributed?
We are doing it our level. We are in interaction with concerned departments. There will be elongated, extended rainfall during September and the first half of October. So, all of us have to do our job. Let them consult their local agriculture scientist.
Global forecasters also have raised concern of rains to be unevenly distributed this year...
In any monsoon, even if it is bad monsoon, you get floods in some parts of the country. Similarly, in a year when there is exceptionally very good monsoon, some parts will have less rainfall or deficient rainfall. To give comment on what type of distribution will be there is very difficult.
Which parts of the country do you see deficit rainfall and where excess?
In the Northeast, we have forecast minus 6% from the long-period average. In West India, including Gujarat and Rajasthan, we are looking at plus 13%, which will be good for farmers. Also, from the crop perspective, Northeast there should be no issue, as the pre-monsoon rains have been very good. It is still raining there as of now, except Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura. Meghalaya, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are getting good rains and there is no issue.