Kerala government shelves plan for artificial rain- the new indian express electricity meme

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Now that the ‘real’ rain is here, the LDF Government’s ardour for an artificial version of it appears to have cooled. The government has shelved plans for employing cloud seeding to create artificial rain, a project announced with much fanfare by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in March 2017.

Prohibitive cost and the touch-and-go nature of the results were cited as reasons for putting the rain-making project on the back-burner. Also, the Chief Minister made the announcement in the Assembly at a time when Kerala was stumbling through a particularly demanding drought. The 2018 summer, on the other hand, was not taxing and the rainfall has been adequate thus far, and IMD says Kerala stands to have a normal monsoon this southwest monsoon season.

Although plans were made to conduct the first cloud seeding experiment in October 2017, it was later postponed to April this year. A number of locations including Kochu Pampa was identified for conducting the initial experiment using chemical-bearing flares. No tests have been undertaken so far. A government source said the experiments would cost around a hefty `10 crore, a compelling reason for the present hesitation.

Cloud seeding is a method of stimulating precipitation by ‘seeding’ clouds with chemicals. In May 2017, the government had assigned the job to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment. Interestingly, cloud seeding as a solution to dwindling water levels in the reservoirs was a project discarded as unviable by the KSEB a few years ago.

M C Dathan, scientific advisor to the Chief Minister and former director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said the government hoped to revive the project on a future date by collaborating with the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. “IITM has plans to conduct cloud-seeding in states like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. They have the expertise, and we can conduct aircraft-based experiments,’’ Dathan said.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Now that the ‘real’ rain is here, the LDF Government’s ardour for an artificial version of it appears to have cooled. The government has shelved plans for employing cloud seeding to create artificial rain, a project announced with much fanfare by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in March 2017.

Prohibitive cost and the touch-and-go nature of the results were cited as reasons for putting the rain-making project on the back-burner. Also, the Chief Minister made the announcement in the Assembly at a time when Kerala was stumbling through a particularly demanding drought. The 2018 summer, on the other hand, was not taxing and the rainfall has been adequate thus far, and IMD says Kerala stands to have a normal monsoon this southwest monsoon season.

Although plans were made to conduct the first cloud seeding experiment in October 2017, it was later postponed to April this year. A number of locations including Kochu Pampa was identified for conducting the initial experiment using chemical-bearing flares. No tests have been undertaken so far. A government source said the experiments would cost around a hefty `10 crore, a compelling reason for the present hesitation.

Cloud seeding is a method of stimulating precipitation by ‘seeding’ clouds with chemicals. In May 2017, the government had assigned the job to the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and the Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment. Interestingly, cloud seeding as a solution to dwindling water levels in the reservoirs was a project discarded as unviable by the KSEB a few years ago.

M C Dathan, scientific advisor to the Chief Minister and former director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said the government hoped to revive the project on a future date by collaborating with the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. “IITM has plans to conduct cloud-seeding in states like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. They have the expertise, and we can conduct aircraft-based experiments,’’ Dathan said.