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Monsoon withdraws from Himachal; 15% shortfall 

Shimla, Sep 30 (IANS) The southwest monsoon withdrew from Himachal Pradesh on Saturday and remained 15 per cent deficient — the seventh consecutive year when the state suffered a deficit, the weather bureau said here.

It was only 2010 when the monsoon rains were 13 per cent surplus.

Five out of the hill state’s 12 districts saw shortfall of rainfall — ranging from 16 to 70 per cent.

“The cumulative rainfall in the state from July 1 to September 30 is 719.9 mm, which is 15 per cent less than the average rainfall of 843.5 mm,” Meteorological Director Manmohan Singh told IANS.

The monsoon arrived in the state on July 1, three-four days behind the scheduled date.

Interestingly a month ahead of the monsoon arrival, the state recorded 128mm of rainfall, which was 21 per cent more than the normal precipitation during that period.

During the monsoon, seven districts, except Bilaspur, Kangra, Mandi, Hamirpur, Kullu, Shimla and Una, had received excess rainfall.

Lahaul-Spiti district, state’s remotest place known for growing seed potatoes and peas, saw the highest deficiency of rainfall at 70 per cent, followed by Chamba 50 per cent.

Agriculture is the main occupation of the people in Himachal Pradesh, providing direct employment to 69 per cent of its workforce.

According to the weather bureau, the state has experienced deficit rainfall for the seventh consecutive year.

In 2016 it was 26 per cent deficit, while it was 27 per cent deficit in 2015, 38 per cent in 2014, seven per cent in 2013, 15 per cent in 2012 and 11 per cent in 2011.

In 2010, it was 13 per cent surplus — only once between 2004 and 2017.

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