Maharashtra government shortlists firm for cloud seeding in Marathwada

The Maharashtra government recently shortlisted a private Bengaluru-based firm – Kyathi Climate Modification Consultants – to conduct cloud seeding operations in areas such as Marathwada, where there is less or no rainfall.

Seeding is a method to induce rains over dams or catchment areas. Sorties are flown over them to spray a water-salt solution. Usually, rain falls within half an hour of seeding, experts have claimed.

The firm, which is selected through a tender process, will implement the Rs 30-crore project over the next three months.

“Three bidders participated in the tender process. Among them, Kyathi Climate Modification Consultants was shortlisted. We are planning to start cloud seeding from this month-end,” said Kishorraje Nimbalkar secretary, relief and rehabilitation department.

The firm has expertise in aviation technology, and it had earlier undertaken cloud seeding in the state in 2015.

Cloud seeding will mainly be carried out in Marathwada, which has not yet got any respite from water scarcity. The region has received only 56.6% of the average rainfall it gets every year by this time. As a result, waterstock in the dams is currently just 0.81%. Last year, during the same time, the water stock was 13.42%.

“Since the onset of monsoon got delayed, this would be an ideal time to conduct the exercise, as we will get the clouds. Without the clouds,

there is no point in undertaking seeding,” said another official from the department, on condition of anonymity.

He said the state needs over 15 permissions from various agencies, which will take around 40 days.

“For instance, the aircraft and radar and other equipments come from US, for which we need import licenses. But since we do not have 40 days to just get approvals, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will intervene [in this matter]. We are trying to get all permissions by the end of this month and will start seeding immediately.”

First Published:
Jul 12, 2019 04:40 IST

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