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AP to launch cloud-seeding programme

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | July 21, 2004 01:06 IST

Faced with erratic rainfall and prolonged dry spells during the current Southwest monsoon, the Andhra Pradesh government intends to launch cloud-seeding operations in 10 rain-deficient districts in the state.

Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy will on Wednesday inaugurate the mission by flagging off a special aircraft at Hyderabad airport.

The state government has engaged two aircraft of Agni Aviation to undertake cloud seeding operations in drought-prone Anantapur, Chittoor, Cuddapah and Kurnool districts in Rayalaseema region, Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts in Telangana and Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts in coastal Andhra, all of which are facing a severe water crisis.

Every day, the two aircraft will fly sorties between 2-9pm sprinkling silver iodide on clouds to induce rainfall.

Cloud-seeding will be undertaken within a radius of 250km from the special weather radar station at Nandyal. Central control rooms have been set up at Hyderabad and Kurnool to monitor the progress of the experiment christened as 'Project Varuna' or 'Meghamadhanam'.

One aircraft will be stationed in Hyderabad and the other in Bangalore.

Speaking to newspersons in Hyderabad on Tuesday, Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy and Minister for Lift Irrigation and Ground Water M Mareppa said the operations would be undertaken for a total of 105 days.

"We are not expecting wonders from this experiment," said Reddy.

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He admitted that the process, when conducted in Anantapur district in 2003, was a failure but pointed out that two earlier experiments in Rangareddy and Anantapur districts in the early 1990s were a success. The government expects rainfall to increase by approximately 15-20%.

He pointed out that scientific reports indicated that similar operations yielded good results in China and the United States as well as in the neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The government has earmarked Rs 12 crore for the experiment.

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Sub: cloud seeding is the worst option

Government is always very keen to take up only those projects which can fetch kickbacks to the politicians and bureaucrats. Cloud seeding, if at all, ...

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We thought that no other CM promises to that CM chair as Mr.Naidu. But now there is one more man YSR doing well.

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