Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: With more shine and less rain, the month of July holds little hope of normal rainfall for Odisha. However, weather models predict good rainfall in the State during the first week of August.

The numerical model of IMD predicts rainfall in Odisha from July 26 to August 8. IMD predicts 18-35mm/day during the period. IMD weather analysis says a low pressure will form around the coastal areas of West Bengal on July 26. This low pressure will induce rainfall activities in Odisha.

The private weather forecaster Skymet also forecasts heavy rainfall on July 26 and 27. But light rainfall has been predicted for the State till July 30. The rainfall activity will pick up momentum again from July 31 and will extend up to August 6.  The rainfall range predicted hovers from 30 mm - 70 mm. The State will witness around 40-70mm rainfall in August first week, suggest Skymet models.

As per the IMD data, Odisha has recorded 31 per cent deficient rainfall as on July 22. The State now figures among the top-10 states in the country that have recorded more than 30 per cent deficient rainfall in July.  As many as 16 districts in Odisha have recorded deficient rainfall of over 25 per cent till July 22. Gajapati with 60 per cent deficit tops the dry districts list in Odisha, and is followed by Balasore and Rayagada. The other districts that have recorded above 30 per cent deficient rainfall in the descending order are: Kandhamal, Bolangir, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Angul, Deogarh and Ganjam.

Except Jharsuguda, Sonepur, Boudh and Bargarh, the whole of western Odisha has posted deficient rainfall in July. And weather models predict moderate to heavy rainfall in these districts on July 26, 27 and 31.

Deficient rainfall has also been observed in central, southern and some coastal districts of the State.

Significantly, as per reports the State agriculture department is yet to  put in place any contingency farming measures in the deficient rainfall districts.

As per the State Drought Contingency Plan, The Agriculture department has to give necessary directions to all the district agriculture offices that are witnessing drought like situations to distribute paddy seeds of shorter duration variety to tide over the deficient rainfall in the districts.

However, none of the deficient districts in the State has implemented the State Contingency Plan for drought till date.

The ominous fallout then has been Odisha witnessed 3 farmer suicides in as many days.