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Civic body cloud seeding quest meets little success

The much-talked about cloud seeding,endorsed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation due to poor rainfall in catchment areas and subsequent water cuts in the city,has shown little success.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
August 11, 2009 12:28:22 am

The much-talked about cloud seeding,endorsed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation due to poor rainfall in catchment areas and subsequent water cuts in the city,has shown little success. Out of the four cloud seeding experiments carried out at Tansa lake between August 7 and 9,only one that was undertaken on Friday resulted in 16 mm rainfall over Modaksagar dam. The other three experiments,two on Saturday and one on Sunday,resulted in scanty rainfall.

“The parameters required to carry out cloud seeding like wind velocity,density and temperature of clouds were not healthy on Saturday and Sunday due to which we did not receive much rainfall,” deputy hydraulic engineer Pramod Guhe said.

BMC is carrying out the manual cloud seeding with the help of Mumbai-based Meckoni Enterprises at a cost of Rs16 lakh. In the experiment,silver iodide is vaporised to seed the cloud. About 150 grams of silver iodide was used for each experiment.

‘Rainman’ Shantilal Meckoni said,“At present,there are only shallow clouds over Tansa that cannot produce rain. On Friday,the thickness of the clouds was 10,000 feet. But on Saturday and Sunday,the thickness of the clouds was only about 1,000-1,500 feet. According to international weather forecast,there won’t be favourable conditions for cloud seeding till August 18.”

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However,the BMC maintains that it will go ahead with the 16 experiments to cause artificial rainfall. “On Meckoni’s advice,we did not carry out any experiments on Monday. But we will resume our experiments over Tansa from Tuesday,” Guhe said.

On Monday,the total quantity of water in the six lakes was 7,22,153 million litres as compared to 8,94,129 million litres on the same day last year.

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