As the southwest monsoon continues to play truant, the Prime Minister's Office on Monday confirmed that rainfall was likely to be below normal this season, directing all ministries and departments to coordinate with state governments and to monitor the situation weekly.
The PMO also directed a careful watch on the intensity and spread of rainfall over the next week or so, especially in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Agriculture secretary Ashish Bahuguna had said on Saturday that if rains do not come in significant quantities by this week, then Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat will join Karnataka and Maharashtra that already face drought-like conditions.
"The government is in full readiness to address any situation that may arise due to any rainfall anomalies," the PMO statement said.
Explaining: "The India Meteorological Department's second-stage forecast on June 22 predicted rainfall over the whole monsoon season to be normal at 96 per cent of the Long Period Average, with model error of ±4