Monsoon to be in parts but no drought-like situation: Singh

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New Delhi, July 2: Union Minister Jitendra Singh today disagreed with his cabinet colleague and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh over the looming drought-like situation but conceded monsoon could be weak in some parts of the country.

"There is no drought-like situation. There is no change in what we are saying. Monsoon is likely to remain weak this year. However, some parts will receive less rainfall," Minister of Earth Sciences Jitendra Singh told reporters today during his visit to the Ministry office here.

"Monsoon is delayed. Western India is expected to be worst-affected and a drought-like situation might prevail in some pockets," the Agriculture Minister had told reporters yesterday. Asked about a possible drought-like situation, Jitendra Singh said "you may ask the Agriculture Minister about it."

He added the Earth Sciences Ministry had given its forecast, one in April and second in June. "We had said that monsoon will be 93 per cent. It will be normal in the Northeast, weak in Northwest region of the country that includes parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan," Singh said.

Meanwhile, Shailesh Nayak, Secretary of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), said the El-Nino effect would be the highest during December. However, he declined to comment on whether the global phenomenon would affect the monsoon in the sub-continent.

"Weather departments of Australia, Japan and the US have given different views on the effects of El-Nino. We are going by what the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) is saying that El-Nino's effect would be the highest during December. "There are several factors that lead to weak monsoon and El-Nino is one of them," Nayak said.

Meanwhile the Indian Meteorological Department has said conditions continue to remain favourable for further advance of southwest monsoon into some more parts of Madhya Pradesh, remaining parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab and some parts of north Rajasthan in the next 1-2 days.

PTI

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