Millennium Post

Weak monsoon: crop sowing trails in Punjab, lesser water in Bhakra

With slow progress of monsoon in the northern region, the ongoing sowing of major Kharif crops in Punjab has remained lower so far as compared to the same period of last year.
Bhakra and Pong reservoirs have registered lesser water level than what they had in corresponding period last year.
Besides, the power utility PSPCL has resorted to ‘heavy’ load shedding across the state on all consumer categories in the wake of ‘poor monsoon’ and less power generation, said an official.
With rain playing truant this year, Punjab has witnessed 51 per cent lesser rainfall as against normal rainfall activity so far this year. The major impact of deficient rains this year in Punjab has been visible on Kharif crop sowing especially paddy, maize and cotton.
As per data provided by Punjab Agriculture department, the paddy sowing is currently trailing in Punjab with acreage under paddy having reached 22.97 lakh hectares as against 23.80 lakh hectares in the corresponding period of last season. ‘The paddy crop sowing is lower by 83,000 hectares so far because of deficient rains,’ an official of the department said here. Punjab, which contributes 30-35 per cent of rice to the central pool, is eyeing 26.50 lakh hectares under paddy this season.
Similarly, area under maize has reached just 1.29 lakh hectares, with officials fearing it will now be difficult to achieve the target of 2 lakh hectares under the crop this year.

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