Himachal sees 26% deficit rainfall

Shimla:The southwest monsoon has remained 26 percent deficit so far in Himachal Pradesh, with five out of 12 districts witnessing less than normal rainfall, the weather bureau said on Friday. "The monsoon so far is below average in most parts of the state despite regular spells of rainfall. The deficiency in districts range from 20 to 83 percent," an official at the meteorological office here said. He said the cumulative rainfall during the monsoon period from June 1 to July 21 was 219.1 mm against the normal precipitation of 295.7 mm, which was 26 percent less than the normal rainfall. Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, Chamba and Sirmaur districts received 83, 60, 53 and 22 per cent deficit rain during this period. Meanwhile, rain occurred at most places in the state since Thursday with Amb receiving 62 mm, the maximum in the state, followed by 59 mm in Gaggal, 56 mm in Nahan, 43 mm in Jogindernagar and 41 m in Palampur town. State capital Shimla saw 18 mm rain. The Met has predicted rain or thundershowers at many places over this weekend. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people in the state, providing direct employment to 69 percent of its workforce. More than 80 percent horticultural and agricultural activities here are rainfed.