After weeks of dithering, BMC plans to coax clouds to drop rain, with some Israeli help
Like we said yesterday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is all set to embark on its ‘plan B’ to induce artificial rain in catchment areas through cloud seeding. This is another try after the civic body’s similar experiment in 2009 failed to yield any result due to faulty technique. Formal discussion and decision will be taken today in the Standing Committee meeting.
To avoid past mistakes, the civic body is planning to seek help and assistance of Israeli researchers and experts, since, as of now, only Israel has the technological knowhow and the success rate in creating artificial rain, and other methods of water harvesting. Civic officials will today discuss the matter with Israeli authorities via video conference.
In the meanwhile, the BMC’s Hydraulic department is discussing other parameters related to cloud seeding with local meteorological departments, and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, to determine the climatic conditions most conducive for the seeding exercise.
In 2009, water situation was more or less as bad as it currently is. The civic administration had then allotted the job to two separate private contractors, one for cloud seeding through aircraft and the other for doing the exercise from the ground. Neither experiment was successful and yielded no rain in the catchment areas of the dams, even after the aircraft took 160 flights.
The BMC sent this data to Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology which, after investigation, came to the conclusion that the radar and aircraft used by ‘Agni Aviation’ for artificial rains were faulty.
Two years ago, the BMC had signed an MoU with the government of Israel to benefit from information, experience and knowledge-sharing in issues related to water management.
At present, the water stock can meet the city’s requirements for just four months. All councillors unanimously accepted that the situation was bad and concrete steps needed to be taken for improving the stock of drinking water in our reservoirs.
Mayor Sunil Prabhu said, “This issue need to be handled with care. We are short of water as well as time. Tomorrow, standing Committee will take decision on it.”