With a flood of protests by the Opposition over prevailing drought conditions in different parts of the State having disrupted the normal functioning of the Odisha Assembly, an IMD, Pune report reveals severely dry conditions gripping over 75 percent of the area in the State.
As per the IMD drought report till August 25, when almost all blocks in Jajpur are experiencing extremely dry conditions for the total period of June 1- August 25, a majority of blocks in the districts of Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Angul, Bargarh, Bolangir, Sonepur, Boudh, Kandhamal and Nayagarh are witnessing severely dry conditions.
The whole of western Odisha is witnessing moderately dry conditions, and mild dry conditions are stated to be prevailing in the rest of the districts.
Significant here is, during the 2020 monsoon, Odisha had recorded dry conditions in only 2 districts. While Khordha had recorded severely dry conditions, moderately dry conditions were measured in the neighbouring Puri district.
Monsoon 2021 Report
As per IMD data on Monsoon 2021 in Odisha (till Sept 1), only 6 districts - Khordha, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Koraput and Malakngiri - in Odisha have recorded normal rainfall; whereas 24 other districts have measured deficient rainfall till Sept 1. Jajpur and Bhadrak have recorded only around half of the rainfall the districts receive during the normal monsoon period.
In western Odisha, Sambalpur and Bolangir have received only three-fifth of the rainfall recorded during the normal monsoon season. The deficient rainfall in other districts ranges from 22- 39 per cent.
Simply put, a high of 20 districts in the State have received at least one-third less rain this monsoon. In such a scenario, the 47 drought prone blocks in the State spread over the districts of Bolangir, Bargarh, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Phulbani have started showing drought symptoms. Besides, due to highly deficient rainfall, moisture stress is observed in the districts of Jajpur and Bhadrak, the IMD report observed.
Drought Conditions Marked In Odisha
According to IMD Pune data, in Odisha, the actual SPI (Standardised Precipitation Index) of Jajpur and Bhadrak has deteriorated to minus 3.15 and minus 2.82, respectively, for the week ended on Aug 25 as against (-)3.12 and (-)2.76, respectively, till August 18. The deterioration in soil moisture has also been observed in Keonjhar district.
None of the thirty districts in the State has recorded a positive SPI value till August last week. a high of 18 other districts has a value of more than (-)1. And in four districts the soil moisture stress is very high as the SPI value measured remained over 2 percent.
Significantly, as per IMD, if SPI value for a longer duration like the 3-month (June 1- Aug 25) period is measured at over minus 2, then the region can be said to be witnessing drought. However, if the value hovers at around minus 1, then it is considered that the drought event is all about to grip the region if deficient rainfall continues.