Regular cloud seeding from next monsoon, says BMC
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After finally deciding against cloud seeding this monsoon, the civic administration has now planned to make it a regular feature from next year.
While the cloud seeding experiment is known to have failed previously, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to conduct the experiment regularly from next monsoon. "We have asked the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) to prepare a detailed project report and guide us in the cloud seeding process," said a senior civic official.
Based on their recommendations and suggestions, the civic administration will make a budget provision from next financial year. According to Rahul Shewale, Shiv Sena corporator and Standing Committee chairman, "Although the cloud seeding procedure was not taken up this year, we have decided to conduct the experiment regularly from next year. This will help the BMC gain experience in the procedure and help us tide over any possible water shortage in the future."
The much controversial cloud seeding proposal of the civic administration, which was expected to augment rainfall during the deficient monsoon until earlier last month, had finally been scrapped after most of the lakes supplying water to the city started to fill up. The proposal had come under flak as the cost had shot up from Rs 12 crore to Rs 24 crore.
After Israel's national water company, Mekorot, which was roped in to conduct the experiment, refused to supply the aircraft needed for cloud seeding, the civic body had decided to rent one from a South African company. Amid the ballooning costs, confusion and lack of clarity over the success of the procedure, the BMC had been delaying the procedure for over two months.
According to officials, a similar experiment conducted in 2009 had failed to augment water supply in Tansa and Modak Sagar lakes, where the Rs 8-crore project was conducted. Although officials said not much has been done to effectively analyse the result and determine the success or failure of the experiment, there hadn't been any notable success.
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