BMC may defer cloud-seeding experiment

"The DGCA has sought reply on certain things like who will be responsible for the cloud seeding operations, how the civic body will go ahead with it ?..Hence the process may be delayed and the experiment might commence in the second week of September," said R B Bambale, Hydraulic Engineer in BMC. 

The exercise aimed at increasing water-level in catchment areas in the metropolis, following deficient rains, was earlier scheduled from September 1-28. The civic body requires DGCA's permission on the air space to be used by a plane before it goes ahead with the procedure.

Also, the BMC is yet to get a green signal from the Maharashtra Home Department in this regard, he said.

However, if the rainfall improves in coming days, it will help in increasing water level in various dams, he added.

The official however, said the cost of the project would escalate to Rs 20 crore from the previous Rs 12 crore, as the civic body will have to pay for using the runways.

The process will involve sprinkling of sodium chloride crystals from a plane on clouds to induce precipitation and subsequently, rain. It will be held over Bhatsa and Upper Vaitarna lakes.

Earlier this month, a presentation in this regard was made by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) to the group leaders of various parties. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) will also be aiding the civic body in the project along with an Israeli company. 

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