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What is the news?
According to a document from the Central Pollution Control Board, weather conditions, such as low moisture levels in the capital during the winter, are unsupportive of cloud seeding and, thus, the project was not further taken up.
Why the decision to drop the idea of cloud seeding?
Cloud seeding technology was being pursued a few years back by government agencies with the help of different institutes, including IIT-Kanpur, to fight Delhi’s pollution problem. However, it has been discarded now due to the following weather limitations:
– During winters, Delhi often receives northwesterly winds, which are cold and dry. Moreover, generally, the moisture in the air is too less during winter in northern India, which limits the scope of cloud seeding. The potential pre-existing clouds are needed to carry out the seeding process.
This limits the scope of cloud seeding during winter to bring rain and disperse the smoke.
What is the way forward?
However, some experts have stated that cloud seeding must not be turned down just because of the weather of Delhi and should be explored as a technological advancement on the lines of China.
Cloud seeding needs to be pursued as it has other applications:
– India has several drought-hit areas like in Bundelkhand in UP and elsewhere in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
– The technology also has strategic applications, like for defence purposes. Over the past decade, many countries, especially China, have mastered it.
About Cloud Seeding
It is a weather-modification technology to help create rain to achieved different goals, including improving the air quality.
– Read here.
– Must Read: Cloud seeding: Impact and examples
Source: This post is based on the article “Why cloud seeding is no longer being seen as an option to clear Delhi’s air” published in TOI on 28th Dec 2021.