Maharashtra Government approves cloud seeding project for 2017 monsoon

Facts:

  • A Cloud Seeding Project worth Rs. 250 crore coordinated by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has been approved by the Maharashtra Government for the 2017 monsoons so as to produce sufficient rain.
  • Weather scientists will be using aircrafts to spray chemicals (silver iodide) over clouds hovering over Solapur district, a rain shadow region of Western Ghats in the state during 2017 monsoons.
  • This will be the first controlled experiment to quantify the extent to which clouds form water drops large enough to make rain. Also it will be the beginning to answer a three-year investigation into an old question: does cloud seeding produce sufficient rain?
Image result for cloud seeding how it works

Courtesy: Izudin Ismail, Star Graphics

Background:

  • China has already used this technique during the 2008 Olympics to veer rain away from the inaugural venue and now has a full-fledged department that blasts rockets into clouds to induce rain and control pollution.
  • In the past also Maharashtra has planned to implement this program because of the frequency of droughts over the Vidarbha region. The State Cabinet had approved a plan to seed clouds for 113 hours with a rainfall level of 1,381mm, at ₹28 crore. However above-normal rains pushed the plan to the back-burner.
  • Madhavan Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences claims that the benefits of cloud seeding aren’t well understood. He also said that it’s time our country had a proper scientific evaluation that State governments could rely upon.

Sources:

 

– News post compiled by Aditi Mishra

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