Despite the ongoing monsoon, there is a 23 per cent rain deficit in Chhattisgarh, one of the most densely forested states in the country, worrying environmentalists and farmers alike.
According to official data, Chhattisgarh has received a total rainfall of 116 mm so far this year, which is 23 per cent lower than last year's figure of 215 mm till the first week of July.
Capital Raipur alone received 174 mm this year, as compared to 235.8 mm in the corresponding period last year.
"The monsoon was delayed this year, which has contributed to rain deficiency but rainfall is expected to be normal this year as well. A system will form in the Bay of Bengal soon and the rain will continue," said India Meteorological Department (IMD) official RK Vyas.
Chhattisgarh is among the states with the highest green cover with forest regions like Bastar and Sarguja. It receives consistent normal rainfall every year.
"Urbsation and concretisation have contributed to deforestation and low ground and river water levels. Due to concrete roads, water cannot recede into the ground, which also becomes a factor in flood," said environmentalist Sameer Vajpayee.
"People don't take any measures to counter the effects either. Rain deficit will continue until aforestation takes place," Vajpayee added.
Farmers are also worried about the adverse effects on the harvest.
"There are many areas in the state where there is not enough rainfall. 50 per cent of the crop has also been affected, if a monsoon had come on time, perhaps the harvest would have also been on time," said a farmer, Bhojraj Devangan.
( With inputs from ANI )