Controlling Pollution Through Cloud Seeding Is Not A Permanent Solution: IIT Kanpur Professor

New Delhi, Nov 9 (Agency) To counter the rising air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR), the Delhi government is planning to use artificial rain through cloud seeding. The mechanism is being developed by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. Environment Minister Gopal Rai met with a team from IIT Kanpur on November 8 to discuss the implementation of the cloud seeding. He informed that Delhi might experience artificial rainfall if the skies of the city remain cloudy on November 20-21. Professor Manindra Agrawal from Department of Computer Science and Engineering at IIT Kanpur shared some insights on the working and implementation of the process. “IIT Kanpur has its own aircraft that has been attached with flares for implementing cloud seeding. We have also received approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the flares and aircraft.

We can now carry on with the process of cloud seeding to create artificial rain wherever possible,” said Prof Agrawal. “IIT Kanpur has been working and planning in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the past two months to introduce measures and steps for curbing air pollution in the national capital region with the help of cloud seeding,” said Prof Agarwal. “The Delhi government has recently reached out to the institute multiple times to seek help for creating artificial rain in the city,” he said. Talking about the efficiency of the process, the professor added, “Countering or controlling pollution through cloud seeding is not a permanent solution. It is a temporary process and lasts for a maximum of two weeks. The dust particles present in the atmosphere are washed away in the artificial rains created and gets settled in the soil making the environment pollution-free.

The process will result in a temporary relief to the people. Also, the artificial rains can be formed only at places where clouds are present. To eliminate pollution permanently from the atmosphere, we must try and work on introducing measures to counter the sources of pollution in the atmosphere.” The Delhi NCR region is spread over an area of more than 1,000 square kilometres, he said. The institute will therefore require to do cloud seeding in a very large area. He also explained that creation of artificial rains depends on the presence and kind of clouds in a region which is not under human control. The cost of the entire process is quite expensive as the aircraft charges, its fuel maintenance, flares are a bit costly.