Karnataka Pushes Forward With Another Cloud Seeding Programme As 176 Taluks Suffer From Drought

An Indian farmer walks on dry land in a drought-hit area (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images)

The Karnataka government has issued tenders for the implementation of cloud seeding technology to improve rainfall collection in the upcoming monsoons of 2019 and 2020, in light of as many as 176 taluks of the state being affected by droughts, reports The Hindu.

Cloud seeding requires utilising planes to spray chemicals on clouds to enable condensation of small water vapour particles into larger rain droplets. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 50 crore per annum.

The tenders have been pushed by the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Department, albeit after some delay. They were originally expected to come out in February itself, but the required approvals and sanctions took longer than anticipated.

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If the tendering process works out as per plans, a contractor will be selected by the end of April, and clouding seeding operations would commence by 20 June.

Unlike previous cloud seeding operations which were spread over 60 days, this time around the government has stipulated that the rain enhancing measure be carried out over 90 days.

The last cloud seeding exercise took place in 2017 under the ‘Varshadhare’ project, which is credited with enhancing rainfall by a whopping 27.9 per cent.

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