Artificial rain to curb Delhi pollution? Government weighing option to fight worsening air condition

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New Delhi | Updated: November 20, 2018 11:27:15 AM

With Delhi experiencing the worst ever phase of air pollution, the government is considering to seed clouds to cause artificial rain and provide Delhiites with some much-needed relief.

Artificial rain in DelhiArtificial rain to curb Delhi pollution? Government weighing option to fight worsening air condition

With Delhi experiencing the worst ever phase of air pollution, the government is considering to seed clouds to cause artificial rain and provide Delhiites with some much-needed relief. “If the situation worsens then the option of ‘cloud seeding’ to induce rainfall artificially, as an immediate step can be considered,” Mahesh Sharma, MoS Environment, told ANI today.

Cloud seeding a process to help create artificial rain. The drops are generally much larger than normal monsoon rain. In this process, scientists use rocket launcher or aircraft to inject Silver Iodide into the atmosphere to mimic ice nuclei. In the atmosphere, feldspar particles act as ice nuclei that make ice crystals grow in clouds and thus rain is caused.

“Cloud seeding for artificial rain would be done once the meteorological conditions are stable,” a senior official told PTI.

Also Read: Delhi’s air quality worsens again

If several media reports are to go by, the government may start the process by this week. Reports even say that scientists are waiting for meteorological conditions to fall in place to begin the process.

If it happens, this will be the first time in India when scientists will seed clouds to cause artificial rain to fight toxic pollutants from air.

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Meanwhile, the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) has said that India is the world’s second most polluted country. Particulate pollution is so severe that it shortens the average life expectancy by more than 4 years.

Air quality in Delhi-NCR worsened again after a 3-day respite and pollution is expected to rise over the next few days due to unfavourable weather conditions. It was recorded in the ‘very poor’ category due to humidity and slow wind speed.

According Central Pollution Control Board data, the overall air quality index was recorded at 352, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category.

 

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