Himachal gets 46 percent less rainfall
Shimla, July 17 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh has received 46 percent less monsoon rains till date, affecting agricultural activities and the standing crops, officials said.
"The overall monsoon was below average in the state. From June 1 to July 17, the state saw 46 percent deficit rain," meteorological office director Manmohan Singh told IANS.
The state has received just 134 mm average rainfall against the normal average rainfall of 249 mm, he added.
While there was 20 percent deficit rainfall in Solan district, the figure is higher in Lahaul and Spiti district (83 percent), Chamba (79 percent) and Kinnaur (75 percent).
Kangra, the state's largest district, has 33 percent deficit rains, while it was 24 percent in Shimla and 58 percent in Una.
Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon remained dormant across the state in the past few days.
"There was a lull in the monsoon in most parts of the state. The past few days saw a good spell of showers," said Manmohan Singh.
He said the monsoon would strengthen in the next few days.
Officials of the agriculture department said the deficit rainfall had severely hit crops, particularly in low and mid hills.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people in the state, providing direct employment to 69 percent of its workforce.
More than 80 percent horticulture and agricultural activities here are rainfed.
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