Patna, July 27: The rain gods today smiled on the state with the skies opening up and raising hopes of a normal, if a tad delayed, monsoon.
Most areas of Bihar, including Patna, which experienced a prolonged dry spell, witnessed normal to heavy rainfall.
Attributing Tuesday’s rain to a cyclonic circulation over Jharkhand and adjoining areas of Orissa, Met office director Animesh Chanda told The Telegraph: “This system is very strong and most of the places in Bihar would receive rainfall in the next 24 hours as well.”
He had some more soothing words for those worried over the deficient rainfall recorded so far in the state. “The long term monsoon forecast says that rainfall in August would be normal,” Chanda said.
The words must be music to Bihar’s farmers, as barring nine of the 38 districts, major parts of the state have received less than the normal rainfall till July 26. The state was 21 per cent deficient on the rainfall quotient. Against a normal of 452.1mm, the state recorded 358.7mm of rainfall till yesterday.
East Champaran (-15 per cent), Rohtas (-38 per cent) , Bhabua (-47 per cent) Bhojpur (-41 per cent), Buxar (-70 per cent), Patna (-36 per cent), Gaya (-30 per cent) and Araria (-73 per cent) are some of the major rice producing districts which have witnessed deficient rainfall so far.
Chanda said: “Systems, like cyclonic circulation and development of low pressure area, which, during the monsoon season, bring rainfall, were not strong enough, leading to low rainfall so far.”
The deficient rainfall has adversely affected paddy sowing in northern and eastern districts like Araria, Katihar, Supaul, Siwan, Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi. Farmers in these parts carry out sowing early. Farmers of central and south Bihar districts such as Patna, Rohtas, Bhabua, Bhojpur and Gaya undertake sowing work a bit late.
“The good thing this year is that even the rain-deficient districts have not witnessed long dry spells like previous years. Thus there is still hope that rice production in the state would be more or less normal,” agriculture specialist Anil Kumar Jha said.
As things stood in a rain-deficient 2009, Bihar received a total of 736.6mm of rainfall against the normal of 1038.2mm, which was 29% less than normal. It resulted in a decline in rice production, which stood at 35 lakh metric tonnes against the normal of 50 lakh metric tonnes.
Rainfall plays a major role in paddy cultivation in Bihar. Around 55 per cent of the 35 lakh hectares on which paddy cultivation is done is dependent on rainfall.