The IIT Kanpur Scientists are all set to induce artificial rains in Delhi and all the required preparations including procurement of the aircraft from ISRO is done. This will help to fight the ongoing pollution and the related health crisis.
However, it is not certain about when will it be done as certain meteorological conditions are required for the cloud seeding.
Manindra Agarwal, Deputy Director IIT Kanpur said,”We have made all the preparations and have also got the aircraft from ISRO which will be needed to induce the artificial rain. The technique has been tested before in Maharashtra as well as parts of Lucknow. However, this is the first time in India that artificial rain would be created over a big land mass to counter the damage done by air pollutants.”
Delhi’s air quality has been alarming in the past three weeks while the overall air quality was classified as ‘very poor’ on Tuesday, with some areas witnessed ‘severe’ pollution.
Cloud seeding is the process of spreading either dry ice or more commonly, silver iodide aerosols, into the upper part of clouds to try to stimulate the precipitation process and form rain.
The process also involves changing the amount and type of precipitation that falls from clouds by dispersing substances (mostly salts) into the air. The dispersion is done from aircraft.
While IIT Kanpur is helping the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to induce artificial rain by providing the salt mix and other logistics. IIT Delhi students are also helping the weathermen to monitor conditions so that they become favourable for creating artificial rain.
“It is easier to seed pre-monsoon and monsoon clouds and it may not be easy trying to seed clouds in winter that are not very moisture laden. However, once it is successfully done, we will evaluate its impact and take a call about whether a second attempt should be made or not,” said Mr. Agarwal
The government had earlier tried in 2016 to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan had never implemented. Last year, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan had also proposed the possibility of reducing dust by watering Delhi from a helicopter.
China has been using this technique to create rains for many years. The US, Israel, South Africa and Germany have also used the technology in the past.