SRINAGAR: Light to moderate rainfall that Kashmir received since Sunday morning will continue to provide relief from the dry spell till April 11, but will not be enough to change the prevailing drought conditions, director of the Met office at Srinagar, Sonum Lotus, said.
Lotus told Kashmir Reader that there is no forecast of widespread rainfall in the Valley. “Light to moderate rainfall will continue till April 11. It will bring some relief and will add something to water bodies and the water table, but it is not sufficient for paddy farmers,” he said.
An official at the agriculture department said that this spell of rain will be helpful for mustard, oats, wheat, and horticulture. “For paddy, it won’t have any impact. The dry spell has already given birth to micro bugs in mustard crop,” the official said.
The soaring March temperature, which was above 10 notches than the average normal, has continued in April. The rain will bring it down.
On March 31, Srinagar recorded a maximum of 28.3 degrees Celsius, 10.7 degrees above the normal and breaking the record of the previous highest, which was 27.3 degrees Celsius on March 27, 1971.
The last time Kashmir Valley received rainfall was on April 4, which broke a dry spell of several weeks.
Average snowfall and rainfall for preventing drought conditions has to be 198.2mm from December to February, but this winter it has been less than 40mm.
As per official figures, Pahalgam has received the highest rainfall of 9.6mm, followed by 9.4mm in Kokernag and 7.8mm in Qazigund. Srinagar city has received 7.4mm.
The Irrigation and Flood Control department has already issued advisory to a number of places for severe drought conditions. It has also asked farmers to grow crops that need less water. Kashmir farmland provides supply of 76 percent of the rice consumed here. Drought conditions will force the state government to import additional rice. The agriculture department is preparing a contingency plan to mitigate the crisis.