M. Malleswara Rao

JNTU colleges, JKCs and Green Corps to be involved

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University prepares an action plan on rainfall verification
  • Samples to be tested for silver iodide or calcium chloride
  • Two aircraft to be engaged from Anantapur and Hyderabad

    HYDERABAD: All the 275 engineering colleges affiliated to Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), 87 Jawahar Knowledge Centres (JKC) and Green Corps units in schools will be involved in verifying claims of rainfall caused by cloud-seeding operations next month.

    These claims were strongly disputed last year on the ground that there were deficiencies in collecting samples of rain water from places where cloud- seeding was done. As arrangements are on to launch operations from September 7, the JNTU, the nodal agency for the exercise, has prepared an action plan to take care of this verification.

    It will arrange to collect rainwater in bottles within an hour of the rainfall by identified engineering students or the 4,500 JKC candidates or the Green Corps volunteers.

    The samples will be tested for silver iodide or calcium chloride at Environment Protection, Training & Research Institute (EPTRI) or any other lab to establish the contractor's claim.

    Disclosing this to The Hindu here on Wednesday, I. V. Muralikrishna, Director, Weather Modification & Atmospheric Sciences, JNTU, however, upheld last year's claim.

    He said the actual rainfall recorded during the 86- day operations last year was 18 to 22 per cent of the total recorded at a place but this was scaled down to 15 per cent for better precision.

    He put the total quantity of water received at 48 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) which is 12 times the quantum in Osmansagar at full level.

    60-90 days' operation

    He said the operations would be undertaken for 60-90 days this year up to November-end, covering even North-East monsoon, at a cost of Rs. 15-20 crores. Two aircraft will be engaged from Anantapur and Hyderabad where radars are under installation. Thirteen districts have been identified for cloud-seeding. As many as 424 mandals in these districts have reported more than 35 per cent rainfall deficit.

    The company that will undertake cloud-seeding will be selected by a panel of experts through open bidding, he said.