Thane: Voicing concern over deficient monsoon rains, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Sunday said the country may face a "serious" situation if it does not rain in the next two months.

"Everything depends on the return of rains in August and September. But if it doesn't, the situation would become serious," he said.

Pawar was speaking at the inauguration of a skywalk at Bonkode in Navi Mumbai.

Monsoon rains are crucial for the agriculture sector, which contributes about 15 percent to the country's GDP, as only 40 percent of the total cultivable area is under irrigation.

Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and West Rajasthan have been the worst-hit regions this year with monsoon deficiency ranging upto 75 percent in Saurashtra and Kutch, accordign to the weather office data.

Since the onset of monsoon, the country has received 22 percent less rainfall than predicted with northwest region being the most affected with a deficiency of 42 percent.

In Central India, rains have been 23 percent deficient, while the southern peninsula has received 22 percent less rains than average.

The 84 major reservoirs in the country that are being monitored by the Central Water Commission have now begun to get filled but the current year storage is still 61 percent of last year's storage.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday said his government was collecting data in the wake of the drought-like situation in the desert state.

"Situation is very critical in Jodhpur, Nagaur, Barmer, Bikaner and Jaisalmer. The process to collect the data has been started and all efforts would be placed to provide relief to public," Gehlot told reporters in jaipur on the sidelines of a function.

He said that preparations were underway for sending a representation to the Centre. About the estimated loss, he said that it could be accessed only after Girdawari report. The Chief Minister also said that Pawar may come to Jaipur on August 3.


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