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Monsoon in 2011 to be normal: Met department

Apr 19, 2011 04:31 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: The country will get a normal monsoon this year, according to first official monsoon forecast for this year. Forecast on the onset dates will be out next month. The Met department said that the monsoons this year will be on time, and normal, a news that will have India rejoicing. Earth Sciences Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said, “Monsoon will be normal at 98 per cent of average. Monsoon will reach Kerala on June 1 and Delhi on June 29.” At a time when India is dealing with high food prices, timely monsoon spells mean profit of Rs 23.5 crore to farmers, good production of rice, sugarcane, soyabean and corn, for instance. This also indicates lower food prices and a boost to the economy. But the lack of details in the forecast is a cause for concern. Food Analyst Devinder Sharma said, “Even if the rainfall comes to Met’s estimate of 98 per cent, even then we need to know what is going to be the variation regionally. Sometimes what happens is that the average is same, but there can be floods in Bihar and drought in North-West and that can impact food production.” The Met department said that it will give a detailed and updated forecast in June 2011. But if all goes as predicted, India could set another record, bumper crop.