Maharashtra government offers BMC a cloud-seeding experiment

The BMC’s seven lakes which provide drinking water to the city have water available for about seven months compared to last year’s 10 months; the civic body has not yet considered the option of cloud-seeding

The state government has offered the option of cloud-seeding to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), in the catchment areas of the lakes that provide drinking water to the city.

The rainfall not happening in the catchment areas of the lakes is expected to add to the city’s woes. File pic
The rainfall not happening in the catchment areas of the lakes is expected to add to the city’s woes. File pic

The BMC’s seven lakes have water available for about seven months compared to last year’s 10 months. The rainfall not happening in the catchment areas of the lakes is expected to add to the city’s woes.

Relief Minister Eknath Khadse told mid-day on Tuesday that the cloud-seeding experiment being carried out by the state government has been fairly successful in drought-affected rural areas.

“We will help the BMC in cloud seeding if they ask us to do it,” he said, adding that the state had contracted a company for 100 hours of cloud-seeding in 90 days; the company is also ready to do an extra 100 hours of cloud-seeding free of cost.

Khadse said that in some areas in Beed district, the cloud-seeding experiment had caused a maximum of 27 mm of rainfall. “The result is not the same everywhere. We will be happy even if we get 40 per cent results. We have decided to continue the experiment in coming months,” he said.

The government will pay the company Rs 27 crore for the 90-day contract, he said. The BMC had dropped its cloud-seeding plan last year because of timely rains. Earlier, BMC’s chief auditor had criticised the experiment that was held six years back.

The auditor had said that the cloud-seeding was carried out despite the lake levels being full in 2009. He had questioned the excessive use of silver iodide, though it was considered correct to do so. Sources in the BMC said that they had not thought about cloud-seeding as yet and they would also think about water cuts after assessing the situation in a month’s time.

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