Govt will con­duct early cloud seed­ing this yr to max­imise gains

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Sudhir Suryawan­shi sud­hir_ s@ dnain­dia. net

The Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment has de­cided to con­duct an early cloud seed­ing ex­er­cise this year so that this ex­er­cise can yield de­sir­able re­sults. Ac­cord­ing to se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial, last year, the gov­ern­ment started the ten­der float­ing process for cloud seed­ing quite late. “The best pe­riod for cloud seed­ing is July when the max­i­mum rain clouds can be tar­geted. Last year, we spent al­most Rs27 crore and re­ceived 1,381 mm rain­fall. We can­not au­then­ti­cate that the rains were due to the cloud seed­ing process only. How­ever, this tech­nol­ogy is proven and widely used,” the of­fi­cial added on con­di­tion of anonymity.

He said, last year, Ban­ga­lore­based Khy­ati Sys­tems was hired for the cloud- seed­ing project. “Cloud seed­ing was car­ried out in the parched land of the Marath­wada and Nashik re­gions. The op­er­a­tion was car­ried out over 113 hours of which 100 hours were given free by this firm. We started the ex­er­cise quite late and, there­fore, it did not have much im­pact,” he added.

An­other of­fi­cial from the state dis­as­ter man­age­ment depart­ment said that this year they have started the ten­der­ing process in May. “But red- tapism has de­layed the process. Once the firm is cho­sen, they have to seek per­mis­sion from the for­eign min­istry, home depart­ment, di­rec­tor gen­eral of civil avi­a­tion ( DGCA) etc, and it takes more than 30- 35 days. We are run­ning short of time, and our min­is­ter’s al­leged in­volve­ment in the pur­ported Da­wood Ibrahim phone call con­tro­versy has also been af­fect­ing work. The min­is­ter’s en­ergy is wasted in de­fend­ing him­self rather than in tak­ing the speedy de­ci­sions of his de­part­ments,” the of­fi­cial added.

“Now, the de­lay will again have an ad­verse ef­fect on the re­sult. We are of the opin­ion that rather than go­ing ahead, the gov­ern­ment should drop this idea of the cloud seed­ing at this junc­ture,” said an­other of­fi­cial from the dis­as­ter man­age­ment depart­ment.

Hemant Padalkar/ dna

Chil­dren per­form songs dur­ing Veer Savarkar’s birth an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, or­gan­ised by the MNS and Dy­nada Pra­bod­han Or­gan­i­sa­tion at Shivaji Park on Satur­day —

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive photo of cloud seed­ing

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