Karnataka is experiencing the worst drought in 42 years and just a month after the South West Monsoon kicked in, data from the Indian Meteorological Department suggests that 11 districts in the south-interior of the state have received less than normal rainfall.
Farmers in Karnataka’s Mysuru and Mandya, on Sunday, were up in arms against the supply of water from Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu.
Protestors alleged that the area had not been receiving adequate rainfall and feared that release of water from the Krishna Raja Sagar dam, before it fills up, may lead to farmers having no water to cultivate their crops.
The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Agency’s numbers too indicate that the area has not received enough rainfall. According to the IMD Director, Sundar Metri, south-interior Karnataka received 40.6 mm of rainfall, as opposed to the normal 64.2 mm it experiences every year in June.
“This year, Kodagu district experienced 431.8 mm rainfall. It gets 622.4 mm every year. This means that the area has received 31% less rainfall this year,” Metri added.
In addition, Mysuru, Mandya, and Chamarajanagar districts, which form the catchment areas of the Cauvery, have also received below normal rainfall this year.
Mysuru has received 45% below normal rainfall, Mandya 58% below normal and Chamarajanagar has received 61% below normal, data from the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) states.
“The rainfall in Hassan district is also important as the Hemavati river contributes to the water level in Cauvery. This year, Hassan received 123.4 mm rainfall, when the normal rainfall is 143.6 mm. Other districts of south interior Karnataka too have received scanty rainfall compared to the normal amount,” Metri said.
The KSNDMC reveals that Bengaluru Urban received 37% less rainfall, Bengaluru Rural was short by 40% and so were Ramanagaram with 47% less rainfall followed by Chitradurga with 38% shortfall, Kolar (-14%), Chickballapur (-17%), Tumakuru (-29%) and Davanagere (-24%). According to Metri, the pre-monsoon rain between January and May had hit south-interior Karnataka more than other parts of the state, with the area receiving 36% above normal rainfall.