More than a week into July, the monsoon has continued to be a no-show in Telangana, further extending the dry spell and leading to drought-like situation in most of the districts.
Huge rainfall deficit due to the delayed and sluggish monsoon has worried the farmers as sowing operations could not be taken up in many areas.
After June ended with 35 percent rainfall deficit, it was hoped that the rains in July will make up for the shortfall. However, the forecasts of heavy rain in the first week of July did not come true.
The weather conditions were mostly cloudy but there were hardly any rains so far. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the deficit rainfall for the current month is 33 percent.
The cumulative rainfall in the state this season so far is 114.6 mm against the normal 175 mm, said an IMD official.
As many as 24 out of 33 districts have rainfall shortage. Khammam tops the list with 77 percent shortfall while Nalgonda stands second with 66 percent and Suryapet third with 61 percent deficit.
Two other districts also recorded deficit of over 50 cent. In 19 districts, the rainfall deficit is less than 50 percent. The rainfall is normal only in nine districts.
Nearly 400 out of 589 mandals in the state are also facing rainfall shortage.
Meteorologists attributed the deficit to the late arrival of southwest monsoon and its sluggish movement. The monsoon is also not active due to lack of favourable conditions like low pressure area.
The rainfall deficit has badly hit the farm activity and the prospects of Khariff cultivation look grim.
According to figures available with the irrigation department, sowing operations could be taken up in only 12 lakh hectares against normal 16 lakh hectares so far.
Those who have already sown the seeds are worried over the scanty or no rainfall as germinated seeds may dry up due to lack of water.
The sowing of cotton, pulses, maize and groundnut was hampered by poor rains. Meteorologists have advised farmers not to take up sowing till mid-July.
The officials remain hopeful that rains till third week of July could help the state make up for the deficit. The agriculture department wants to wait for another 10 days before pressing any contingency plan into operation.
Meanwhile, the elusive monsoon has also led to rise in maximum day temperatures and raised concerns about the falling water levels in reservoirs and plummeting ground water table.
Khammam and Nalgonda recorded maximum temperature of 39.4 degrees Celsius, about six notches above the normal.