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Rainmaker to start work in eight days

The lakes that feed Mumbai will bank once again on an experiment that helped induce rain 17 years ago.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
July 10, 2009 1:39:37 am

The lakes that feed Mumbai will bank once again on an experiment that helped induce rain 17 years ago. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will carry out cloud seeding in the next eight days,hoping to bring artificial rain in its catchment areas,lakes in Thane and Shahapur district,which have had little or no rainfall for nearly a month.

In the meantime,it has disconnected water to 171 locations,including seven swimming pools and 84 sites under construction sites.

The BMC has approached “rainman” Shantilal Meckoni who carried out the previous experiment in 1992. As per his estimates,10 experiments,each pegged at Rs 1 lakh,will be needed in the vicinity of Tansa and Upper Vaitarna lakes. Civic officials said the cost estimates will be studied and then approval sought from municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak.

On Thursday,the civic administration committed itself to the experiment in the next eight days. The experiment will be carried out over seven days and the target is between 25 and 100 mm rain.

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“We will study the cloud conditions and go ahead,” said additional municipal commissioner (projects) Anil Diggikar. The cloud cover needs to be 7,000-10,000 feet thick,the temperature 5°C at cloud summit,the minimum humidity 70 per cent,and the wind velocity 20-50 km per hour. “We are in touch with the Meteorological department. Once we get these conditions,we will start,” Diggikar said.

At home,the BMC continued efforts to save water. It has asked all 24 wards to cut down supply to establishments that are using water for purposes other than drinking. The first casualty was sites under construction,which had been using water for building. Cuts were imposed on 21 sites in the western suburb of Dahisar,followed by 20 in Parel and 19 in Byculla area of the island city.

The seven swimming pools where supply has been stopped comprise two in Churchgate,two in Chembur,one of Tata Electrical Company,a private one owned by a Hiren Bharani at Deonar,and one in Borivli. Supply was also cut to 30 gardens. Civic officials said this would save around 400 million litres daily

Nearly 250 large establishments,including government hospitals,five-star hotels and private clubs,who top the list of bulk consumers,were also imposed additional cuts up to 30 per cent,taking the total cut to 60 per cent.

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