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Rainfall abundant, civic body drops cloud-seeding plan

BMC had imposed a 20% water supply cut throughout Mumbai, which was later increased to 50% for commercial properties.

| Mumbai | Published: August 4, 2014 2:03 am
Officials are hoping that the robust monsoon will continue and further lake levels. (Source: Express archive) Officials are hoping that the robust monsoon will continue and further lake levels. (Source: Express archive)

As Mumbai received its heaviest rainfall in July in the past 55 years, accompanying heavy rainfall in the catchment areas of lakes supplying water to the city has compensated for the worrying deficit caused by the slow start to the monsoon in June. This has prompted the BMC to abandon its plans to carry out cloud-seeding in the city’s seven reservoirs.

Cloud-seeding is a process by which rain is induced by spraying hydroscopic particles into rain clouds to stimulate the precipitation process. Bangalore-based Agni Aviation carried out the exercise in 2009 at a cost of Rs 8 crore, but failed to yield results.

The civic body is now pinning its hopes on the heavy monsoon to continue through August and September and to adequately fill up the lakes — Tansa, Vehar, Tulsi, Upper Vaitarna, Bhatsa, Modak Sagar and the new Middle Vaitarna dam.

At the start of June, in fear of a possible El Nino effect (global warming of surface waters) in the Indian sub-continent, the Indian Meteorological Department had predicted less than normal rainfall in the country. Mumbai also recorded the second driest June since 1951 during which lake-levels dipped dangerously low.

On July 2, the BMC imposed a 20 per cent water supply cut throughout Mumbai, which was later increased to 50 per cent for commercial properties such as malls and hotels. Tenders worth Rs 15 crore were also floated for cloud-seeding.

With the rains picking up in July, especially in the last week, the civic body delayed finalising the tender that had got two responses.

“We will be relived if the water stock cross limit of 11 lakh million litres to 12.5 lakh miillon litres. Over the past few days the rainfall has caused a good rise in stock. Hence, we don’t intend to carry out cloud-seeding now,” a senior civic official said.

Mumbai needs nearly 4,200 million litres of water daily, of which the civic body regularly supplies around 3,500 million litres. From this, the BMC imposed a 20 per cent water cut which has now been reduced to a 10 per cent cut.

Despite the increase in water stock, BMC appeals to citizens to use water judiciously as levels are still lower than what was recorded in 2013. As per civic data, in the same period last year, lake levels stood at 11.8 lakh million litres.

“We are lucky to have received adequate showers but the weather is unpredictable. The uncertainty  has prompted us to consider a long-term water conservation programme. We request citizens to use water carefully,” the official said.


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  1. Shivajirao Tipirneni
    May 19, 2015 at 10:22 pm
    Mumbai corporation is not right in dropping out cloud seeding proposal to keep all the lakes full.Mumbai needs more drinking water as there are too many slums without proper human waste disposal systems to keep up good standards of public health as otherwise people suffer from intestinal infectious diseases that force them to pay the doctor fees and also for medicines which works out to several crores of rupees.And midicines cause other adverse impacts on human health stead of making people sick by curtailing decent safe water supplies to great citizens of Mumbai,it should not run away from discharging its duty to provide adequate water supply,as right to health is a consutional right hence Mumbai must use this opportunity to seed the clouds when they are available in plenty now and after some time thay may not come over Mumbai due to Elnino weather conditions and consequentlythe supply of water through continuous depletion of reservoirs may cause problems in winter months and later when the clouds with water may not come over Mumbai in sufficient numbers and even if shallow clouds were to come they may not yield more than tenpercent of their water content and Mumbai may face drinking water scarcity which will be man-made due to foolish thinking in the minds of the officials who do not think sas they are not paid more money for thinking in public interest.The Bureaucrats are fed well and they do not visualise the problems of the millions of poor people.So,Mumbai corporation must go ahead with cloud seeding at least on moderate lines to ensure full water supplies for drinking and industrial purposes.The previous experiments are reported to have failed because Mumbai did not consult proper experts to design a comprehensive plan of action with the result that it was a man-made mistake in terms of its failure as the fault is not with technology but with the people who handled it without deep planning and scientific thinking.For more details see web sites presented below: kindly study the web sites to realise that Educated intellectuals do not think in public interest and that major industrialists of Mumbai are so much engrossed with matters of making maximum money with least cost in shortest time and hence public interests do not interest them.Even film stars of Mumbai are not perhaps intelligent torealise that their health and happiness depends on the health status of their poor neighbours.Let the m media take some interest as members of the fourth estate to serve the state and the nation as envisaged by Mrsdira hi under Art.51A[g] of indian consution.All political parties must develop enough wisdom to work in public interests as their duty as citizens and patriots of the state and the Nation which produced Mahatma hi prof.T.Shivaji Rao,B.E[Civil Engg.]M.S[Environmental Engg., Houston,Texas,1962] Hony.Director,centre for environmental studies,Gitam University,Visakhapatnam,India phone:0891-2504902 and cell No:09949319038