Both eastern Rajasthan and western Madhya Pradesh have received nearly 36% of excess rains. In its latest forecast on Thursday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted further widespread rainfall over eastern Rajasthan over the next two days.
The monsoon fury has ravaged parts of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, killing more than 200 people and causing large-scale destruction. But eastern states including Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal as well as parts of western Uttar Pradesh remain rain-deficient.
The four-month monsoon season is extremely critical for the farm economy as it irrigates more than 55% of agricultural land.
The widening regional gap has been a major characteristic of the ongoing monsoon season. Cumulatively, 84% of the country’s areas have received above normal rainfall and the remaining 16% remain rain-deficient, according to the IMD.
While the Konkan-Goa region and Madhya Maharashtra faced incessant heavy rains, the eastern districts of Marathwada and Vidarbha have remained relatively dry.
At least 15 of the 35 districts of Tamil Nadu are witnessing a deficit, while four—Nilgiri, Tirupur, Teni and Tirunelveli—have recorded up to 80% excess rains. Stark variations were also recorded in Uttar Pradesh, where the western districts are rain deficit.
According to the IMD, as many as 20 of the total 36 sub-divisions have witnessed normal rains this season, but rainfall remains deficient in eight others—Jharkhand, West Bengal, Rayalaseema, Haryana, West Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Marathwada and Himachal Pradesh.
As of Thursday, the storage available in the 107 reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission stood at 106 billion cubic metres (BCM), compared with 85.4BCM in the same period last year. But storage in the 17 reservoirs in the eastern region comprising Jharkhand, Nagaland, Odisha, Tripura and West Bengal is less than last year.