Monsoon to take break for few days: Weather office

New Delhi: After a week of moderate rains, India`s crucial monsoon is expected to take a break from north-west region for most part of the next few days.

"Rainfall activity is likely to decrease over plains of Northwest India from tomorrow onwards," the Weather office said in its forecast for next week.

Quantitatively, monsoon has been 23 per cent deficient with the food bowl states of Punjab and Haryana receiving 70 per cent less rainfall than normal. The two states have received 30.6 mm rainfall till now this season as against the normal of 102.5 mm.

Experts, however, feel that this may not have a significant impact on agriculture as the two states have good irrigation facilities.

Out of 36 meteorological sub-divisions, the rainfall has been excess/normal over 15, deficient in 17 and scanty in 4 sub-divisions. In area-wise distribution, 40 per cent area of the country has received excess or normal rainfall and remaining 60 per cent had deficient or scanty rainfall.

On Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had said that rains had improved, speeding the sowing of major summer crops such as rice and cotton. He had voiced concern over the deficient rainfall in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

With the axis of monsoon shifting to the Himalayas, rainfall in parts of east Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh is expected to increase there.