Saturday, September 25, 2010

Maharashtra begins artificial rain project

For the small pockets of land in Maharashtra that received very modest rainfall on Saturday and Sunday, its was a man made gift of showers. Four very small pockets of land in Satara (Wadunj) and rural regions of Pune district (Daund, Baramati and Marinagar) received from a maximum of 11 millimeters (mm) of rainfall for 31 minutes on a 12 square kilometer tract of arid land to an almost abysmal 6.5 mm of rainfall for even lesser time.

Why the jubilation then? Because these regions fall within 10 most scarcity-hit districts of Maharashtra with no rains for the last three years. The state government has imported the requisite radar machines and other equipment at a cost of Rs.5.5 crore and hopes to continue creating artificial ‘November rains’ equipped with a Piper Cheyenne plane (light aircraft), armed with hygroscopic salts, for cloud seeding sorties over these and other scarcity hit regions.

Chief minister Sushilkumar Shinde said today: “The artificial rain is the outcome of an agreement signed between the state government and Ms Weather Modification Co through its subsidiary Ms Agni Aviation Consultants (Bangalore) on August 21, 2003. The equipment was imported and became operational on Saturday with the first experiment resulting in 11 mm of rainfall experienced over a 12 square km patch in Satara district for 31 minutes. The next day (Sunday) the same experiment was repeated in the three rural regions where around 6.5 mm of rainfall was recorded.

Cloud seeding is here to stay and will provide a shower of man induced artificial rainfall upon regions bereft of nature’s annual generosity. The state government has set up a control room in the Vidya Prathisthan located in Baramati from where sophisticated radar will monitor the availability of cumulus clouds drifting over the parched landscape that can be targeted and fueled with enough hugroscopic salts (shot into the base of the cloud).

Source: Business Standard

No comments:

Post a Comment