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Cloud-seeding launched

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Mission rainfall: A Cessna-340 plane ready for takeoff towards the overcast skies after being flagged off by Commercial Taxes Minister K. Ramakrishna at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Mission rainfall: A Cessna-340 plane ready for takeoff towards the overcast skies after being flagged off by Commercial Taxes Minister K. Ramakrishna at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

Rs. 22 crore to precipitate rain-bearing clouds in 12 districts

HYDERABAD: Cloud-seeding operations commenced in the State on Thursday for the fifth consecutive year this year with a Rs. 22-crore budget to precipitate rain-bearing clouds in 12 rainfall-deficit districts.

A Cessna-340 plane took off towards the overcast skies of Ranga Reddy district from Begumpet Airport after being flagged off by Commercial Taxes Minister K. Ramakrishna amidst a small gathering of officials. The Minister said the experiment for artificial rain was immediately commenced with two aircraft based at Hyderabad and Bangalore for the year, pending finalisation of tenders to undertake the operations for a period of five years, in view of the shortfall in rainfall over the State.

Two powerful ‘C’ band radars had been installed at Hyderabad and Anantapur to track down the rain-bearing clouds.

The seeding operations would be conducted by the old contractor Agni Aviation daily for four hours for 120 days till November, covering North-East monsoon period as well.

The Centre for Atmospheric Sciences and Weather Modification Technologies (CASWMT) of the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, will monitor the operations on minute-to-minute basis during the four hours of flying and evaluate the rainfall received along with an experts committee appointed by the government.

Prof I. V. Murali Krishna, CASWMT director, said public could contact CASWMT on 9848049624 to give feedback on the rains received and to suggest places of deficit rainfall where the operations could be undertaken in the 12 districts — Medak, Karimnagar, Mahabubnagar, Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda, Kurnool, Kadapa, Chittoor, Anantapur, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore.

He said one could not expect miracles as the experiment would only enhance the rainfall from a “favourable clouds” by 15 to 20 per cent at maximum. Last year’s experiment resulted in a rainfall gain of 18 mm in each mandal — a cumulative of over 57,000 mm for 120 days.


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