The southwest monsoon has already covered Gujarat with about 35 per cent of the season’s average rainfall till July 17, but most regions received only scanty rains.

The rain distribution has been uneven, with Kutch and Saurashtra receiving 60-80 per cent of their season’s average rainfall, whereas the rest of Gujarat has received roughly about 22 per cent of the season’s average.

The State Emergency Operation Centre has recorded a total of 293.52 mm rainfall till Friday, which is 35.32 per cent of the long-period average of 831 mm.

The southern, central/eastern and northern regions of Gujarat have witnessed relatively lesser monsoon activity so far during the season.

Kutch has received a maximum rainfall of 343 mm, which is over 83 per cent of the season’s average of 412 mm. Saurashtra region has received 436 mm rainfall — 64 per cent of the season’s normal 677 mm.

Kharif sowing

The scanty rainfall in other parts of the State has raised concerns among the farmers, who have begun kharif sowing in anticipation of timely and normal rainfall. “So far the rains have been not-so-encouraging in majority parts of the State. The rainfall activity that we saw in southern Gujarat before the onset of monsoon was part of the cyclonic effect of Nisarga in early June. We hope to see more rains in August-September,” a State agriculture department official said.

The heavy rains in Saurashtra and Kutch have filled reservoirs in these districts, giving much respite to the farmers to secure water for their kharif crops in the remaining part of the season. As many as 24 dams in Kutch and Saurashtra are showing 100 per cent filling as on July 17, while 22 are filled above 90 per cent.

However, the dams in the northern, central and southern districts of the State remain below 50 per cent of the storage. Major schemes in North Gujarat, including Banaskantha district’s Sipu (3 per cent filling) and Dantiwada (1.6 per cent) showed nearly empty levels, while dams in Aravalli and Mehsana districts were filled 35-40 per cent of the storage capacity.

The Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river was showing 54.13 per cent filling with inflow less than the outflow.

Gujarat has so far seen kharif sowing on 57.37 lakh hectares, which is about 64 per cent of the three-year average sowing of 84.90 lakh hectares. While the sowing is progressing, it has been higher by about 18 per cent from last year’s 48.79 lakh hectares.

For the next five days, the IMD has issued a forecast of light to moderate rain/thundershowers very likely at many places in all the districts of the Gujarat region, Saurashtra-Kutch and in Diu, Daman and Dadara Nagar Haveli.