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Maharashtra Govt to Employ Cloud Seeding as Solution For Poor Rainfall & Drought, Allocates Rs 30 Crore

In aerial cloud seeding technology, dry ice or silver iodide is introduced into clouds to aid precipitation and rainfall.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18

Updated:May 29, 2019, 11:37 AM IST
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Maharashtra Govt to Employ Cloud Seeding as Solution For Poor Rainfall & Drought, Allocates Rs 30 Crore
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Mumbai: Maharashtra government has decided to do cloud seeding in the state for better rainfall this year. The decision has been taken in view of the severe drought. Also, the meteorological department has predicted late rainfall. Funds of Rs 30-crore have been approved by the cabinet.

“This project will be implemented in the rainfall-deficient regions of Vidarbha, Marathwada and western Maharashtra. For this, a C-band Doppler radar and an aircraft will be stationed at Aurangabad,” a government official said.

In aerial cloud seeding technology, dry ice or silver iodide is introduced into clouds to aid precipitation and rainfall.

“We have found that in many foreign countries, aerial cloud seeding has led to 28 to 43 per cent increase in rainfall. It is important that planning be done for drought mitigation measures here. That is why the government has been mulling over several options. For cloud seeding, pre-planning is essential. That is why the cabinet approved this proposal even before the onset of the monsoon,” the official said.

The government will soon float tenders for the same. The state government had conducted a similar experiment in the year 2015. It was conducted in parts of Marathwada. Officials had then claimed success in its implementation.

Maharashtra has been reeling under severe drought. The government has claimed, it has already provided relief of more than Rs 4000-crore to the farmers. It has now decided to open cattle sheds for sheep and goats too, a first in the state.

“There is only 13 per cent water stock remaining in the water bodies in the state. The intensity of the drought has been on the rise. We have deployed 6209 tankers in 4920 villages and 10506 settlements in the state. Over 1500 cattle camps have been set up for the small and large cattle,” a press note issued by the Government of Maharashtra stated.

Cabinet minister Chandrakantdada Patil said that Rs 4500 aid was directly distributed in the farmers’ accounts. Drought has been declared in 28,524 villages in Maharashtra.

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