The Karnataka government is contemplating declaring drought after nearly two months of dry spell. The move would make Karnataka the first state to declare drought this year.
At least 150 villages in the state have already qualified as drought affected, with more being added, an undisclosed source told Livemint.
A cabinet sub-committee is expected to make an official announcement next week, the report says.
The monsoon, on its last legs, has been 5 percent below normal, and despite the rains being predicted to be surplus in most parts of the country, many parts received less than ample amount of showers, reports Hindustan Times. At least three states – Kerala, Karnataka and Gujarat – are battling drought-like conditions in some districts.
Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa told media persons that the situation was “alarming”, reports The Hindu.
Meanwhile, Karnataka water resources minister M B Patil said that the state was not in a position to release the water and the outflow continues like this Cauvery basin could become another Latur, the worst drought-hit district in Maharashtra, reports News18.
Karnataka is having drought for a third year and apparently its worst in about four decades, reports Business Standard.
Overall, the state was 16 percent short of normal rainfall between 1 June, 2016, and 5 September, 2016, according to data from the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC).
The meteorological department classifies this as a “normal” deficit, but rainfall was intermittent and uncertain through the monsoons.
After two consecutive droughts, India received normal rainfall—2% less than the 100-year average—by the end of August 2016, but within that normality, more than a third of the country is short of rain, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data, IndiaSpend reported in August 2016.
In August, Karnataka’s four zones–south and north interior, the southern Malnad region and the coast–recorded a 39 percent deficit in rainfall.
The situation worsened over the monsoon: 101 of 176 talukas in Karnataka recorded deficit rainfall (-20 to -59 percent), while 55 talukas recorded scanty rainfall (-60 to -99 percent) in August 2016, reports IndiaSpend.
With inputs from agencies