Patna, July 13: Contrary to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast of above normal monsoon rains this year in Bihar, the state has recorded a deficit of 22 per cent in rainfall so far, officials said on Wednesday.
It has triggered fears of drought among millions of the state's farmers, the officials said.
Poor monsoon in over a dozen of Bihar's 37 districts, as of the second week of July, has also affected paddy sowing.
"Bihar has not received good rainfall till date this season, it is not a good sign for the agriculture, particularly paddy," an official of the agriculture department said.
According to the Met Office here, Bihar has received 236.9 mm of rainfall against its requirement of 304.2 mm of rainfall, a deficit of 22 per cent.
"There is little doubt that so far monsoon rainfall is poor in Bihar. But we hope that the system will develop in Bay of Bengal for a good rainfall in the coming days," a Met department official told IANS here.
Officials of the state disaster management department said that if the situation does not improve, the fear of drought is bound to worry all, including farmers.
"At present, there is no such fear as there is a chance of normal rainfall in coming days," officials said.
Taking a serious note of the deficit in rainfall, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday reviewed the preparedness of the concerned department to tackle the drought-like situation.
He also directed the officials for effective implementation of anti-drought programmes.
Monsoon normally hits the state between June 12-14. But this year, it has arrived a week later.
According to officials records, nearly two-thirds of Bihar's population of 10.5 crore are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.
Also, nearly two-thirds of agricultural activities in the state are dependent on rain. Agriculture contributes nearly 18 per cent to Bihar's GDP.