Kashmir

Despite downpour in April, Valley still faces prospect of drought

Srinagar: Kashmir has already received above normal rainfall for April but the prospect of a drought are far from away in the Valley, officials said on Monday.

Director Meteorological Department Sonam Lotus told GNS that rainfall has surely replenished water resources.

“There is already above normal rainfall for this month,” he said and is “good for the farmers.”

An official of the local meteorological department said Srinagar this month received rainfall of 101.6 mm, Kokernag had 117.6 mm, Pahalgam (131.7mm), Gulmarg (194.4mm), Kupwara (155.4mm) and Qazigund had 90.4 mm hitherto.

While the normal rainfall till March for Jammu and Kashmir is 164.8 mm, the state has received just 64.4 mm — deficient by 61 percent.

In January, the summer capital o the state received 1.2 mm rainfall as compared to normal range of 53.9 mm. While Srinagar in February, received 44.7 mm rainfall compared to normal range of 81.99 mm, according to the data.

The deficient rainfall and snowfall prompted I&FC department to issue advisories to farmers in various districts to opt for crops other than paddy.

Talking to GNS, Chief Engineer Irrigation and Flood Control Department Kashmir Mir Shahnawaz said that advisories issued by the department to farmers in various districts to opt for crops other than paddy “stand”.

“There was scarce rather negligible snowfall this winter in Kashmir Valley. The paddy and other such crops need continuous water for several months and present rainfall may not be enough,” he said.

The paddy fields in the Valley are irrigated by channels which are mostly rain and snow-fed but the water table is at very low this year.

In the last week of March, which incidentally was hottest-March ever, the I&FC Department advised farmers in Baramulla and Kupwara districts in north Kashmir as well as central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district not to cultivate paddy this season due to water scarcity. Instead, the department said, pulses and other cash crops, which use less water, be sown.

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