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Waiting for appropriate level, density of clouds for artificial rain in Delhi: Environment ministry

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Ministry has said it is waiting for "appropriate" level and density of clouds, and a clearance from the to induce artificial through seeding in Delhi, even though experts argue that the process is not a to the air problem.

The ministry also said the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), which proposes multiple strategies to combat air pollution, is likely to be launched mid-December as most of its officials is in to attend the crucial UN climate change summit from Sunday.

With air levels in often reaching alarming levels during winters, authorities have said they might induce artificial by cloud-seeding to wash away pollutants in the air.

seeding is the process of combining different kinds of chemical agents, including silver iodide, dry ice and even table salt, with clouds in an effort to thicken them and increase the chance of rainfall.

The process also involves changing the amount and type of precipitation by dispersing substances (mostly salts) into the air. The dispersion is done from aircraft.

"We have been experimenting with different things to figure out what is it that can work in a crisis situation and as a long-term situation. seeding is a part of that strategy where we want to see whether artificial is going to help us bring down the pollutants.

"We are just waiting for appropriate levels and density of clouds. Everything else is in place. But that will only happen when the (IMD) gives us the clearance that now we have a cloud which will give results. There is no point in cloud seeding which will not give results," a top Ministry said.

He said IIT Kanpur, which has been working on cloud seeding, had successfully done it in

"We have been arguing with and others that let them try over as well. Unless you try, how do we know whether it will be successful or not. Permission from the DGCA has also been taken," the said.

He said from the local actions taken in the last five-six months to tackle air pollution, "it looks like these has showed some results in helping the decline (air levels).

experts said inducing artificial rain by cloud seeding may bring relief but only for a short duration, and the government should take systematic and coordinated actions to reduce at source.

They said measures to bring down levels should be undertaken without having a second thought, but there is also a need for a long-term and focused approach to address this problem.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 02 2018. 15:00 IST