Shimla, Aug 21 (IANS) The southwest monsoon was 17 per cent deficient in Himachal Pradesh with four districts recording shortfall in rain, an official at the local meteorological office said on Sunday.
“The overall monsoon was below average in most parts of the state. The state recorded 17 per cent less than the normal rainfall,” the official told IANS.
He said the cumulative rainfall from June 1 to August 21 was 521.4 mm against the normal precipitation of 627 mm.
Lahaul-Spiti district, known for producing the country’s high variety, disease-free, pest-resistant Kufri Chandramukhi and Kufri Jyoti varieties of potatoes, recorded 78 per cent less than its normal rainfall, the highest in the state.
The deficiency was 53 per cent in Kinnaur district, 47 per cent in Chamba district, 26 per cent in Sirmaur district, and four per cent in Kangra district.
Shimla district, which alone accounts for 80 per cent of the state’s total apple production, experienced 15 per cent excess rain during this period.
The meteorological office said it has almost been a week with no major rainfall reported in the state and similar conditions would continue this week too.
But the state has suffered a loss of Rs 567.32 crore due to rains that have also claimed 28 human lives, a government official said.
He said roads and bridges suffered the maximum damage, which was pegged at Rs 396 crore.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people in the state, providing direct employment to 69 per cent of its workforce.