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Delhi Prepares For Artificial Rain To Tackle Air Pollution, Aircraft Procured From ISRO

To combat the declining air quality in Delhi-NCR, the scientists at IIT Kanpur are all set to induce artificial rain in the region but are waiting for the meteorological conditions to be suitable for the process


New Delhi: The scientists at IIT Kanpur have made all the preparations including procurement of the aircraft from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to induce artificial rain in the national capital to mitigate the hazardous health situation due to the air pollution crisis. However, they are not certain about when it can be done as they are waiting for meteorological conditions to fall into place for the cloud seeding.

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, said Manindra Agarwal, Deputy Director IIT Kanpur.

Delhi’s air quality has deteriorated to alarming levels in the past three weeks while the overall air quality in the national capital was in the ‘very poor’ category on Tuesday, with some areas in the city experienced ‘severe’ pollution.

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Cloud seeding is the process of combining different kinds of chemical agents, including silver iodide, dry ice and even common salt, with existing clouds in an effort to thicken them and increase the chance of rainfall. 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 supporting the plan of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to induce artificial rain by providing the salt mix and other logistical support, a group of students at IIT Delhi are also helping the weathermen in monitoring conditions to become favourable for creating artificial rain.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Was Most Deadly In 2016 In Two Decades, Reduced Life Expectancy By 10 Years: Study

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, Mr. Agarwal said.

In 2016, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out. China has been using cloud seeding to create rains for many years. The US, Israel, South Africa and Germany have also used the technology.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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