Monsoon arrives in parched Bihar

June 18th, 2011 - 3:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, June 18 (IANS) The wait for rains in drought-hit Bihar is finally over. With rains lashing Patna and several other areas, the weather office said Saturday that the state can expect a normal monsoon this year.

Showers in Patna and neighbouring districts of Gaya, Jehanabad and Nalanda Friday night brought much needed respite from heat, bringing hope to millions of farmers across the state.

Director of the Meteorological department here, Animesh Chandra, told IANS that monsoon arrived in Bhagalpur and Forbesganj towns Wednesday (June 15), while the rest of the state had to wait for a few more days.

“Widespread rains are likely in next 48 hours across the state,” he added.

People, particularly farmers, who were worried till two days ago and held special prayers to invoke the rain gods, celebrated Saturday.

“It is a sign of happiness for us,” said Lakhan Yadav, a farmer in Janipur near Patna.

Yadav said that the arrival of monsoon will boost agriculture, as nearly two-thirds of farming activity is dependent on rains.

About two-thirds of the state’s population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.

Last year, the Bihar government declared all the 38 districts drought-hit due to a rainfall deficit of nearly 22 percent. Inadequate rains had severely hit paddy sowing and transplantation in most districts, barring Araria, and East and West Champaran.

In 2009, the government declared 26 districts drought-hit.

According to state agriculture department, Bihar received 682.6 mm of rainfall in 2010 and 871.3 mm in 2009. In a normal monsoon year, the state receives nearly 1,100 mm of rainfall.

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