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Monsoon hits Kerala, brings cheer to farmers

New Delhi, June 1
The crucial south-west monsoon arrived on cue in Kerala on the southern coast on Saturday, a top weather official said, boosting prospects for farm output and alleviating concerns of further suffering for key cotton and sugar growing areas hit by drought.

According to an Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin declaring the onset of monsoon, conditions are favourable for its further advance in the next two days, bringing fairly good rains in the region. "The monsoon has arrived in Kerala and the large parts of adjoining Tamil Nadu," IMD director general LS Rathore said .

The weather office had predicted the monsoon would arrive over Kerala on June 3, give or take four days, a timeframe treated as normal and allowing farmers to plant crops such as rice, soybean and cotton on time.

Rains are vital for the countrys 55 per cent farmlands without irrigation. Seven southern and western states hit by drought last year need plentiful and timely rains to help a recovery. Adequate rains could help the rural economy and keep inflation subdued, as the UPA Government prepares for state polls this year and the General Elections in 2014. Agencies

Mercury slides in North

  • Temperatures stayed below the 40C mark at most places in the North on Saturday
  • The mercury continued its slow descent in Delhi, which registered a maximum of 38C, two degrees lower than Friday
  • Temperatures also dropped in Punjab and Haryana, with Chandigarh recording 36C and Ludhiana 38.5C
  • Amritsar continued to sweat it out at 46.2C.

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