Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said the India Meteorological Department is going to release its final report on the south-west monsoon forecast later this month and that will reveal if the El Nino weather pattern will cast a shadow on the June-September rains, leading to deficient precipitation.
Speaking to reporters at Amravati in the Vidarbha region, he said the state government has anyway started preparations to tackle situation arising of a possible shortfall in monsoon rains.
India is likely to experience below-normal monsoon rainfall this year, with a 20 per cent chance of drought due to the end of La Nina conditions and the potential for El Nino to take hold, private forecasting agency Skymet Weather said earlier in the day.
The private forecaster has predicted the northern and central parts of the country may see a rain deficit, with Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra expected to witness inadequate showers during the core monsoon months of July and August.
Fadnavis said, “The IMD has 5 to 6 models to analyse weather observations. Some of them indicate there could be an influence of the El Nino weather pattern which would adversely affect rainfall in the state in the upcoming monsoon season. The IMD is going to release its final forecast after April 21. That report will clear doubts about the monsoon.”
El Nino, which is the warming of the waters in the Pacific Ocean near South America, is associated with weakening of monsoon winds and less rainfall in India.
Asked about administrative plans to tackle any adverse situation, Fadnavis, who holds the finance and planning portfolio, said, “The state government has already started preparations anticipating a shortfall in precipitation. We are preparing ourselves on how to face the situation, what measures can be taken in case of a water shortage.”
The government has formed a committee to look into these issues, said the deputy chief minister. Asked about farmers repaying their crop loans regularly getting Rs 50,000 aid from the government, Fadnavis said, “15.5 lakh farmers have applied for this one-time benefit of Rs 50,000. Of these, validation of documents has been completed for 12.5 lakh applicants.
"The scrutiny of papers for another one lakh farmers is almost done. However, rest of the farmers have not submitted all the required details which is delaying disbursements.”